News / Africa

Elections May Jeopardize Unity, Says One Sudan 'Lost Boy'

Mac Deng says even though civil war was deadly, it is not a significant reason to divide Sudan into two countries

Multimedia

Audio
  • Mac Deng, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan spoke with Butty

James Butty

Many Sudanese living in the United States were able to cast ballots in their country’s first national elections in almost a quarter century.

Among them are members of the “Lost Boys of Sudan,” thousands of young boys who were separated from their families and forced to walk about 1,000 miles to reach safe haven from Sudan’s second civil war.

Mac Deng, one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan” living in the United States said he did not vote because he could not meet the difficult requirements.

But Deng said he is concerned about the possibility of a divided Sudan that might result from the election.

“The election is good right now, but the problem is that the southern Sudan nominee which is Yasir Arman withdrew before election. We can tell that Omar Bashir is still going to be the president. I like it because I’m supporting unity in Sudan and Omar is also supporting unity,” he said.

The elections are a key part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) that ended two decades of fighting between Sudan's northern and southern regions.

They are a prelude to a referendum on independence scheduled to be held next year in the south.

But Deng said such referendum if and when it is held should produce a new and united Sudan not a divided country.

“When the SPLA (the Sudan People’s Liberation Army) which is the ruling party in the South right now, when they took arms against the National Congress Party (headed by President Bashir) they took arms for change for a new Sudan,” Deng said.

He said the SPLA’s original aim of a democratic confederated Sudan might have changed after the death of SPLA leader John Garang, who died in a 2005 helicopter crash.

“When the leader of the SPLM which was John Garang died in an air crash, there was no vision left for the southern Sudan. The leaders left right now they are not doing what they are supposed to be doing. That’s why they are seeking separation rather than unity because they think they don’t have much power to go ahead in a united Sudan. They don’t have much power to come together with our people in the north,” he said.

Deng said it makes no sense to have a divided Sudan in the 21st Century.

“This is the time people should come together – people of different religions, people of different color, they should come together and be one Sudan and go from there,” Deng said.

He said even though he and thousands of other young boys were driven out of Sudan, he believes a united Sudan would be beneficial to all Sudanese.

“I was driven out by war but the cause of war was not a meaningful thing that can divide us from being one people,” Deng said.

Deng said he was not worried that the government of an independent southern Sudan would be able to sustain itself. Instead he said he was worried about the possibility of a collapsed southern economy.

“Sudan is a rich country; it depends on oil. When that oil is cut in half it will become little for two nations. But not only that, there is a central part of Sudan called Abye, which is geographically in the northern part. That part of the country is (inhabited by) Dinka people who are actually southern African people. If the country is divided they are going to be cut in the north and that’s where the oil lies. So the big percentage of the oil will be cut to the north and the smaller side will come to the south. And that would bring the economy down,” Deng said.

Deng said most of the nearly 4,000 “Lost Boys” who settled in the United States are doing well academically. He said some are supporting Sudan unity while others are supporting southern independence.

He said most of the “Lost Boys” are in touch with their relatives back home through cell phones.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid