News / Africa

    A 'Lost Boy of Sudan' Reflects on South Sudan Independence

    Mac Deng, one of the 'Lost Boys of Sudan,' says he hopes their new country would one day be like the United States

    Sudan Juba Profile flag
    Sudan Juba Profile flag

    Multimedia

    Audio
    James Butty

    When South Sudan becomes Africa’s newest country Saturday, the “Lost Boys of Sudan” will be celebrating the occasion with their fellow South Sudanese.

    During Sudan’s 21-year civil war, thousands of young boys from mostly the Dinka ethnic group were separated from their families and forced to walk about a 1,000 miles to reach safe havens.

    Mac Deng, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan who is studying environmental science at the University of the District of Columbia here in Washington, D.C., said even thought he did not support separation from the beginning, Saturday promises to be an exciting day for all South Sudanese.

    “At first I just didn’t feel like to be in support of separation. But eventually it is a split, so I have to join the majority, and again, it’s going to be an exciting day, and I am happy to go forward,” he says.

    Deng, who said he fought in the South Sudan liberation army, said he did not want a divided Sudan at first because he thought he fought for a one Sudan.

    Southern Sudanese from the Dinka tribe take part in a rehearsal celebration for independence in the southern capital of Juba, July 5, 2011
    Southern Sudanese from the Dinka tribe take part in a rehearsal celebration for independence in the southern capital of Juba, July 5, 2011

    “I was a soldier, and I was fighting for the freedom for all of us, liberation for the whole Sudan. But lastly, we decided to split. That wasn’t my thinking,” Deng said.

    He said he and a number of other south Sudanese who had reservation about separation are ready to support the majority who voted for separation.

    “Most of us are very excited, but there are some people like me who still disagree, but lastly we all come together at the end and we join the majority and it’s not about one person anymore,” he said.

    Deng, who said he is from the town of Bor in south Sudan, said a lot has changed for him since he and other Lost Boys of Sudan arrived in the United States nine years ago.

    “Being here is great. I’m the only one in my family in America getting educated, and looking back home, a lot of things have changed. We talk to people back home. We tell them that this is how life is in America and we should have the same thing over there,” Deng said.

    He said even though the soon-to-be new country of south Sudan will face many challenges, he and other Lost Boys of Sudan are hoping that one day south Sudan will be like the United States.

    “I tell them [his family in Sudan] that this is a peaceful place to be, although it is not peaceful to some other Americans. I send money sometime to my family, and I think our country should be like America too, even though there are political issues. Yes, that’s all we hope for, betterment for everybody,” Deng said.

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora