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

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs