“I am delighted and honored to join all the Citizens of Unity State and the entire Republic of South Sudan in celebrating Christmas holidays and the coming New Year 2013… On behalf of the Government of Unity State, the citizens of Unity State and my own behalf I take this opportunity to wish all the people of South Sudan happy holidays,” he said.
He said that 2012 has been a tough year for the country but the challenges faced have brought strength to overcome the adversity of the task of nation building.
“It is has been an experience where among the lessons learnt is that it’s in times of crisis that communities break down barriers and come together to form bonds that will see them help one another today and in future,” he said.
”One of the reasons why we have been able to overcome the challenges of the day is the prevailing peace despite the few incidents of insecurity within the state and with our neighbouring states there has been relative peace,” he said.
Deng said the past year has been a very challenging one on the economic front and despite vast natural resources; the austerity measures reduced the capacity to achieve set objectives, hopes and desires.
He said the people of South Sudan are one family, through the lens of history and the tribulations during the liberation struggle.
“…all the different tribes of South Sudan should always look to the future, with a sense of pride, warmth and mutual respect while still maintaining their individualism, because ultimately our diversity is our strength,” he said.
He urged the citizens to remember those that have been displaced by conflict, the recent flooding, and the returnees that are still at holding centers and also the refugees in the various camps in Yida and Nyel who are facing difficult challenges and circumstances.
“We may not have sufficient resources to celebrate these holidays to our satisfaction but I believe whatever little that we have; let it be shared with our neighbors in the spirit of Christmas” he added.
He urged the residents to find room to reflect on responsibility to maintain peace within society and most importantly celebrate in moderation and save some strength that will be needed to face the New Year.