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Reem Shakwat

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A Story of the Lives Affected When One Country Became Two

Posted: 09/07/2012 12:35

On 9 July 2011, when South Sudan became an independent country, Rose Michael, a South Sudanese woman who had lived most of her life in Khartoum, decided to stay in the city where she had a great job and owned a house. But in April 2012, Rose had to leave for Juba after her employer let her go. She planned to return to Khartoum. But then she lost her Sudanese passport and now she can't return because the war has escalated and flights are cancelled.

When the Sudans separated, Anas Zanga was stuck in the middle. With a Sudanese mother and a South Sudanese father this young man has a split identity. He struggled to get Sudanese citizenship and as a result couldn't find a job. When I met him last March, he told me that his wife is six months pregnant and he was worried the child would be stateless like him.

Nanjoor is also caught up in a war not of her making. She is from Abyei, an area contested by the two sides. In her makeshift tent in a camp for returnees to the South she makes mint tea and tells me her story. Her husband is from South Sudan and lives in Juba, but she has a life in Khartoum and does not want to go to the South. Clad in a toub, the Sudanese national costume, Nanjoor looks like any woman you see in a market or public bus, but that's not an identity available to her now.

Mohamed Saeed is from the Nuba Mountains and works as a driver for an international NGO in Khartoum. Over the past year, he has hosted seventy internally displaced persons from Nuba. Jalila Khamis, an activist from the region, had taken in twenty-one internally displaced persons, who had all walked for days to reach the safety of her Khartoum house. She was arrested in March 2012.

I chose peace between Sudan and South Sudan when I read about the 1987 Ed-Da'in massacre where 1,500 were brutally murdered. I choose peace in the Nuba Mountains because I don't want to see families living in caves; I want Nubas to live in dignified conditions. And because I choose peace, I choose to revolt. I choose to join thousands of protestors demanding change in Sudan because only regime-change will bring peace to Sudan.

I choose peace because last year, my friend, Rashaida Shams Al-Deen was tried for participating in an anti-war protest for Southern Kordofan and she has now been detained for two weeks for choosing to protest for peace. I choose peace because Mosaab, a nine-year-old kid who cleans cars on Nile Street walked from Blue Nile to Khartoum on his own. He does not even know where his family is. I choose peace because I choose humane life.

Names have been changed for security reasons

www.wechoosepeace.org #ChoosePeace

 

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