Juba, 9 July 2013

Today in Juba, President Kagame attended celebrations of the 2nd Anniversary of South Sudan’s Independence held at Freedom Square, resting place of Dr. John Garang founder of Sudan People Liberation Army to whom many attribute Sudan’s Liberation.  Speaking alongside invited heads of states, President Museveni of Uganda, President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud of Somalia, President Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama of Botswana, President Kagame began by congratulating the people of Sudan on their liberation:

“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 emphasized the role of independence as an opportunity for further regional and continental integration calling for a united way forward:

“The independence of South Sudan is bound to contribute to peace, security and development in the region and Africa as a whole. 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.”

Quoting President Salva Kiir who during last year’s independence celebrations said “we know that no matter how long the night is, morning will always come,” President Kagame pointed to the shared history between both Rwanda and South Sudan:

“Rwandans do not only 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 expressed that despite the long road ahead, the determination of the people of Sudan will prevail:

“It is because of the citizens of South Sudan that we achieved freedom. With determination and commitment, we can be successful in reaching our goal of self reliance.”