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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid