“Tomorrow has finally come”
Address of the Outgoing Chairman on the Inauguration of the new Red Army Foundation’s Leadership
Peter Biar Ajak
Our guest of honor, Advisor to the President on Legal Affairs, Chairman of the Red Army Foundation, Deputy Chairman of the Red Army Foundation, Minister of Culture, Youth & Sport, SPLM Secretary for Syndicated Organizations, leaders of the SPLA and other organized forces, senior officials of the government, members of the Red Army, invited guests, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Today, we are gathered here to witness a magnificent addition to the glorious history of the Red Army; a history that has spanned nearly three decades, covering nearly the entire duration of the last civil war that culminated in our liberty; a history filled with unspeakable suffering, fuelled by the dark forces of nature: violence, enmity, and hatred; a history also filled with the genuine aspirations of a people, united in a common quest for freedom, inspired by hopes of brighter possibilities in a free future, and paid a steep price for the achievement of the said objectives. We are celebrating today in a free, independent, and democratic South Sudan! What makes the Red Army most unique among all the battalions of the SPLA is that it encompasses an idea more than a physical fighting force – capturing the spirit of a great purpose, both in its tragedy and in its magnificence, both in its desperation as well as in its glory, both in sacrifice as well as in reward – for the blind forces of nature, fuelled by eloquence of human emotions, captured and pushed us to the edge of doom. The Red Army, as a product of enduring hope, was the spirit in which the vision of the SPLM was invested: the reflections of the ideals of our movements – in its revolutionary tradition of the Bolsheviks, in the victory of the red army over the dark forces of Hitler, and our own victory, both in the battlefields and the boardrooms of diplomacy, both in prestigious institutions of higher learning, in private sector, in government, in NGOs as well as in think-tanks – the red army symbolizes a sustained victory of good over evil, the triumph of human hopes over the combined forces of man and nature, the achievement of the most impossible! With the launching of this Foundation and the processes we have taken thus far, the red army has indeed truly come of age; the seeds have germinated.
We have endured two years, meeting and negotiating, arguing and working, but consistent in our common pursuit to unite and organize all red army under a continuous purpose to the nation; to inspire its moods and its moral conscience. For if one was telling a story of the current situation in our country, he or she may start as follows: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way….”, a paradoxical dichotomy of the Tale of Two Cities, symbolizing confidence as well as gloom, for our nation stands at crossroads, faced with a decision to choose its rightful destiny among all choices that include the likes of Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Tanzania, Malaysia among others. We are all responsible for whatever trajectory that this nation will take since the God Almighty has blessed this country with all resources: finest people to whom the Bible refers as “tall and smooth-skin,” oil in the billion of existing reserves, gold in a commercially viable quantity, and the largest arable land within the region, crossed by the waters of the Nile, which flows in our novel jungles, where wild animals roam freely in their delightful diversity. Therefore comrades, what is left is our duty: the fulfillment of our individual and collective obligation to this country.
The goal of this foundation remains to support this country in its earnest quest to free itself from fear, poverty, illiteracy, and disease, as we have just complained in the song we have just sang. The Red Army Foundation is not for Peter Biar, the outgoing leadership, or the incoming leadership, but for all red army members. Today before you all, I have just concluded my service as the chairman of this organization, now Deng and his team takes over. This way, we widen participation, encourage learning in the art of leadership, and instill the ideals of public service. Because for this nation to succeed, it will require all of us, with whatever skills we can muster. So, let’s all join hands to support Deng Bol and his team so that their energy, intellect and devotion could uplift this organization to greater heights. Let us all join hands with them, offered ourselves at their service in constant pursuit of our objectives, as we continuously live the wishes of our leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, and support the efforts of our current President, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit.
So my comrades, time has comes for the spirit of the red army, which sustained the fighting forces of the SPLA to win the war, to renew this nation yet again; in its trials, our country yearns our service. Therefore, let’s heed the call of our nation, in obedience to the command of Isaiah, that “un-lift the heavy burdens and let the oppress go free.” Our people have been chained by the vices of tribalism, poverty, illiteracy, disease, and the more lethal recent vice, corruption. Thus, your duty is to remain the conscience of our movement, the temple of its moral authority, the rock on which it reposes when its will is shaken. The spirits of the fallen martyrs command that we do so; the vow we took at the tender age of childhood to wage a total war by all means possible for the freedom of our people. This, comrades, we must not fail!
As such, let us not seek out principles to match our interests, but rather exercise the ambition of responsibility that exceeds our ambition for success. And we as exercise this ambition of responsibility, let’s remember those to whom the doors of opportunity have been shut: for whom the luck of the world has not come. We are their hope, and as the “seeds of this nation,” it is our duty to tireless toil to lay this country in an unshakeable foundation. Therefore with history as the final judge of our deeds, let’s move forth, conscious of our obligations to this nation, remembering the sacrifice of our fallen martyrs, and committed to execute those ideals for whom we joined the bush in the first place: that men were created equal, and must be freed from poverty, illiteracy, and disease! May the spirit of Dr. John, which shall forever burn in our hearts, light the fire of service within us, whose glow will renew our nation and fortify all who serves it in eternal devotion. May the lord continue to bless the Red Army, and this Foundation! Red Army Oyee, SPLA Oyee, South Sudan Oyee!!!!