News / Africa

South Sudan Diaspora Raise New Flag

South Sudanese nationals of all ages came to Washington to celebrate their new country.
South Sudanese nationals of all ages came to Washington to celebrate their new country.
TEXT SIZE - +
Nico Colombant

South Sudan’s diaspora communities from around the world have come together to celebrate their new home country.

Inside a room of the already functioning embassy of South Sudan in Washington, invited dignitaries and South Sudan immigrants watched with bright smiles a live stream from events taking place in Juba.

Outside there was an even more joyous mood, as women danced and sang liberation songs.

Christopher George, a southern Sudanese who has been living in the United States for 11 years, drove 10 hours from the southeastern U.S. state of Georgia.

He said the drive was much easier than the long and often violent struggle for separation and independence. “It is not a long distance. If we can bear for 22 years, a distance of 10 hours is nothing for us.  This is the first embassy for us. I experience it as historical moment for me as a person," he said.

Elizabeth Kuch, a real estate investor living in Pennsylvania, fled her home in Jonglei state in what is now South Sudan by foot 10 years ago, drifting as a refugee for years.  She said she finally felt like a first-class citizen. “Even though I am not in South Sudan today, I am here in America, but I still feel the sense of belonging.  This is what we have been missing all of these years. And finally, finally, I am still having a fever because of freedom, but most importantly, I can feel the sense of belonging which is the most important thing I have been missing in my life," she said.

South Sudan's flag was raised in Washington to signal the country's arrival in the international community.
South Sudan's flag was raised in Washington to signal the country's arrival in the international community.

More singing and tears followed as soldiers raised South Sudan’s flag on a sidewalk outside the building where the embassy is located, with dozens of people looking on.

The consular affairs officer, Agnes Oswaha, said she was very proud of her country’s first day and her fellow countrymen, women and children, including in the diaspora.

“Today as you have seen at the embassy of the Republic of South Sudan, we have various generations, as well as babies of 7 days, as well as old people who are highly regarded in our community so basically this is a day for all of us, for us who are living today, we are laying foundations for generations to come, as well as fulfilling the aspirations of our ancestors," she said.

Participants said the diaspora’s role would be very important in building their country, which has little infrastructure but large oil reserves.  They said the many challenges included ending internal sectarian violence, preventing corruption and the difficult co-existence with Sudan to the north, with many issues still unresolved.

During the Washington celebration, a gust of wind nearly toppled the pole holding the new raised flag, but soldiers and other new South Sudanese nationals rushed to steady it.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid