April 25, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– South Sudan’s armed Opposition, a breakaway faction of the national army led by the country’s former Vice President, Riek Machar, welcomed their Chief of General Staff in a customary style today in Juba.
Upon his arrival in the capital, the long awaited Chief of Staff, 1st Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, was welcomed at Jebel Kurjur, also known as Pagak 2, by a large number of rebels and sympathizers.
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In a South Sudanese customary homecoming practice, the rebels slaughtered a “black bull” at their headquarters in Juba, in accordance to a traditional welcoming formality observed by the Nuer, Dinka and other tribes.
According to Nuer elders, who performed the event, the slaughtering of a bull is meant to unite the returning dignitaries to the land and the local people.
To Nuer people and other displaced persons, who have been forcefully evicted from their homes in Juba, this homecoming party of General Gatwech and his senior comrades, was well deserved.
Shouting “viva viva” as others speak in dialects, many supporters of SPLM/SPLA-IO cheered and ululated as Gen. Gatwech crossed the dead bull.
According to Gorlong Gatkuoth, a Nuer by ethnicity, the blood of the slaughtered bull signifies unity of the people and the land.
“This is very important, South Sudan is our country. No body can deny us our country. The blood of this blood will connect us with our ancestors and grandfathers who sacrificed their blood to liberate this country” Gatkuoth said.
Going viral on social media, supporters of SPLM/SPLA-IO in diaspora similarly echoed the call for peace, togetherness and unity.
According to Changkuoth Gatnyaminran, the return of SPLM/SPLA-IO leadership and sacrificing of a bull means peace and unity.
“a bull/cow was killed to signifies that this land of Juba and that of the whole South Sudan is ours, it belongs to us all and that we MUST do what ever it takes to safeguard it for us and our future generations. It is also a symbol of unity, togetherness and so forth.”
Changkuoth, a South Sudanese- Australian, is hopeful that these types of sacrifices will bury the old ideologies of dictatorship that turned politics violent in December 2013.
Gen. Gatwech returned to capital, Juba, on Monday with 195 bodyguards, after spending two years in the bush fighting Salva Kiir led SPLA faction and allied foreign troops in his home region of Greater Upper Nile.
His return paves way for Dr. Riek Machar’s return to Juba to form the Transitional Government of national Unity, a period many South Sudanese are eagerly waiting for!
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