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Saturday, July 09, 2005

Celebrating Sudan today ...

Today I toast the swearing in of John Garang as vice-president in Sudan. How many people have suffered, so miserably, so uselessly, in this war between the mostly Muslim north and Christian south. John Garang, leader of the people in the south (the Sudan People's Liberation Movement and the Sudan People's Liberation Army) is now to join the government. For all the problems still to come ... what a significant moment this is.

I also remember for the nth time the young boy who was a slave in the house of a family who so hospitably welcomed me and my daughter in Khartoum. He was one of the boys described in this book: "Brothers In Hope: The Story of the Lost boys of Sudan" about many (around 30,000) southern Sudanese boys, between 8 and 15 years old who ended up walking to Ethiopia ( over 1,500 kilometers) looking for safety. Many of them got filtered off to live with families in the capital of Sudan where, in return for some refuge (and a space on the floor to sleep) would run errands and do work about the house. This very young man I met only left the house at night; he scuttled on all fours to avoid being seen, and trusted very few people to come within touching distance of him.

How can I ever rest when I've been part of these stories?


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