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Kade Doris Samson-CRN
Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 16:48
A South Sudanese lawyer says if the President is stopping the use of the national anthem in his absence let him also ban all flags flying in the country.
 
The lawyer who spoke on condition of anonymity responds to President Salva Kiir’s statement read by Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth after the Council of Ministers meeting on Friday.
 
Makuei said with the exception of South Sudan's embassies, which represent the president and schools where children are taught the anthem.
 
“If he [President Kiir] wants to ban the national anthem from being sung in his absence, let him ban all the flags from wherever they are. That means we won’t have flags in offices, in schools and the small flags people buy in streets during independence”, he stresses. 
 
But the lawyer reacts that the national anthem represents the whole nation and its entire people.
 
“Just like you here, “national anthem” is for the nation, which means each of everybody in that nation owns it. So it’s for everybody. It’s not personal. To me, he’s personalizing the anthem. We have grown in different countries and we see national anthem is sang by everyone in Schools, meetings. So by not singing it in his absence, which means people will not have a symbol of their nation. So it doesn’t make sense to me. So if he bans it, which means he is banning the citizens from accessing what belongs to them”, says the lawyer.
 
A concerned citizen who prefers to hide her identity calls on the president to withdraw his statement.
 
“As a citizen of South Sudan, it is not fair. We need freedom of expression. We even need the young ones to know their national anthem. But now if he’s stopping it from being sang in his absence, how will the young ones know their citizenship”, the citizen raises her concerns.
 
Information Minister Michael Makuei while giving President Kiir’s statement said the national anthem is being misused especially by government officials.
 
The national anthem of South Sudan was selected by the South Sudan National Anthem Committee of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement following the launch of a competition to find a national anthem in August 2010.
 
This preceded the independence referendum in January 2011 that led to South Sudan becoming a sovereign state on 9 July 2011.
 
 

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