[Malual Kon, Bahr el-Ghazal, Southern Sudan 42°C] Tomorrow morning, I leave Northern Bahr el-Ghazal and head south to Tonj county in Warrap State. Apparantly a more remote part of Southern Sudan. As I leave, I leave you here with a selection of photographs of places I’ve visited and people I’ve met while in the area. (I will add more soon)
Tagged: Southern Sudan
[Wau, Southern Sudan 36°C] I leave the bustling and dusty capital of Juba and fly about 500 kms northeast into the interior of Southern Sudan to the town of Wau. Although there is less traffic in Wau, without a single paved road in the town, it is equally dusty. The oxidized earth leaves a veiled remnant of itself as an orange dusting on anything that remains still for just a second. In the evenings, it peppers the tongue and tingles the nostrils.
[Juba, Southern Sudan 34ºC] It’s my first day in Juba (Feb 26) and I start working right away. From Juba, I have a “story from the field” to write about Mine Risk Education (MRE). I’m picked up for a briefing meeting at the UNICEF offices. You can’t get in without a badge or an escort and the metal detector offers the only gateway to the inner compound. We are seven around the table. I’m surrounded by Child Protection Specialists, Mine Risk Educators, Child Protection Officers and Mine Victim Assistant Officers. They all work either for UNICEF or United Nations Mine...
[Nairobi, Kenya 27°C] Below is a selection of photos taken at Sud Academy, a primary/secondary school for Sudanese refugees in a poor neighbourhood of Nairobi, Kenya. The school has a student population of more than 200 students, some of whom were abducted during the civil war by northern militia and enslaved by them to tend the cattle stolen in the raid. Lino Madut Angok is ne of the abductees who was freed, as indicated in his letter (below) by an organization called Redemption(?). Although I recognize the benefit Lino has received by being freed from bondage, there is much debate (here, here and here) about the practice of redemption (buying the slave’s freedom) and its ability to end slavery in Sudan.
[Nairobi, Kenya 28°C] The Nairobi heat rarely gathers on the brow long enough to bead. It evaporates long before it has a chance to trickle then drip. Kenya will prepare you for the heat of Sudan, everyone tells me as I reach for my water bottle, still thursty. It’s not just the heat of Southern Sudan I’m preparing for, it’s the place itself. It’s hold on a tenuous peace, as mandated by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed on Januray 9, 2005 between the Khartoum-based Government of Sudan and the, then-rebel group, Sudan People’s Liberation Army.
As you may have noticed by reading the About page that my first international assignement is in South Sudan where I will initiate my new direction in video reporting and documentary film. I’ve been asked over and over again, “Why Sudan?!” My immediate response — and the one which flows generously from my lips is, “Why not!” But I actually have dozens of reasons for chosing Sudan: First off, It’s the country with the largest geographic area in Africa and it’s in crisis!
[MONTRÉAL] I sit in my living room reading David Eggers’ What is the What, a fictionalized biography about Valentino Achak Deng, one of the Lost Boys from Sudan’s 21-year civil war. The war ended tenuously in 2005 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Sudanese army in the north and the south’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army. It is 22h00 on a summer wednesday and the Montréal night is bombarded with firework blasts out of view from my comfortable living room sofa.