Kagame joins South Sudan for anniversary fete

Rwandans will stand by the people of South Sudan as they continue to build their nation, President Paul Kagame has said.
President Kiir (R) welcomes President Kagame to South Sudan. Kagame told South Sudanese that  independence was an opportunity for further regional and continental integration and calle....
President Kiir (R) welcomes President Kagame to South Sudan. Kagame told South Sudanese that independence was an opportunity for further regional and continental integration and calle....

Rwandans will stand by the people of South Sudan as they continue to build their nation, President Paul Kagame has said.

The Head of State made the remarks yesterday in Juba during celebrations to mark the second anniversary of South Sudan’s Independence.

 “We recall with you the long and protracted struggle for freedom, sovereignty, self-determination and dignity. We salute your efforts and assure you that the Rwandan people stand with you in this arduous task of nation building,” President Kagame told the South Sudanese, according to a statement from the Office of the President.

The event was held at the Freedom Square, the final resting place of Dr. John Garang, the revered founder of Sudan People Liberation Army, to whom many attribute South Sudan’s Liberation.

The President  said that the independence was an opportunity for further regional and continental integration and called for closer ties.

“We all understand that our destiny as Africans is tied together and the future of our continent will be assured by the way we closely work and even think together to advance and protect our common interests.”

He added; “Rwandans share with the people of South Sudan a history of struggle for liberation as well as a vision of greater freedom and prosperity for our peoples.”

The ceremony ended with an address by President Salva Kiir, who said that despite the long road ahead, the determination of the people of Sudan will prevail.

Freedom, Self- reliance

“This freedom, which we won through so much blood, sweat and tears, will never be reversed by current challenges,” President Kiir said. “The resilience and courage that you have demonstrated during the days of our liberation struggle is an expression of our common hope to build a new, shared future for all the people of South Sudan. It is a hope that is based on the principles of freedom, self-reliance, progress and justice for all.”

Other heads of state who attended the function included, Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud (Somalia) and Lt. Gen. Seretse Ian Khama of Botswana.

Following the secession of South Sudan from the north in a 2011 referendum, Rwanda and the new state have maintained close ties, which many delegations from Juba coming to Kigali, mainly to learn firsthand Rwanda’s reconstruction process in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Rwanda also maintains a battalion of peacekeepers as part of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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