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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid