Children have lost their families and have been displaced and exploited as soldiers. They've lost their hopes for a better future. Women were raped and tortured and saw their own children and husbands slaughtered. People were starved to death while escaping war. A whole nation has been deformed by the sins of war.
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.
We - Sudan and South Sudan - shall remember that we've both suffered oppression and lived through woes, and that we are the survivors of the longest war in Africa. I see our separation as an opportunity for the new South Sudanese generations to determine their own destiny without being pulled back by war and chains of extremist dictatorships
When the people of South Sudan went to a referendum in January last year to decide on whether to split from Sudan, the result was decisive. Nearly 99% voted in favour of independence. After decades of instability, many Southern Sudanese hoped that separation from Sudan would end the country's troubles and pave the way for democratisation and essential development.
We cannot abandon the people of South Sudan at such a moment of renewed need, whatever our frustrations. They have suffered so long for their prized independence and deserve so much better. But even if the present crisis is mitigated by some kind of agreement after even worse north-south brinkmanship than we are used to, the international community will have to demand much more and better from the government in Juba, as well as pressing Khartoum. The message may be unwelcome. But accepting responsibility is part of independence too.
Africa's Unity depends largely on the ability of the continent to move forward in its development at the national level first. One African currency and a united political system will do little to bring the continent out of poverty if political elites at the national level remain corrupt and untrustworthy.