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Fight For South Sudan's Independence

This petition was published by Sam on Nov 24, 2010

Dear World Leaders,

I am one of the Lost Boys of South Sudan. I was born in Bor and my tribe is Dinka. My entire family was displaced by the war as the North continually bombed our villages, raided our livestock, raped our women, and sold our young boys into slavery. I was fortunate enough to escape to refugee camps in Kenya and Uganda and eventually made my way to the United States. There I received my education and now am determined and prepared to do whatever it takes to help my brothers and sisters of South Sudan during its most vital time.

We the people of South Sudan need your support during this upcoming referendum on January 9, 2011. This upcoming referendum gives us once in a life time opportunity to decide our fate whether to vote for unity or to vote for separation. Almost unanimously, we will vote to be an independent nation. However, this will not happen without your support to pressure the government of Sudan to hold a fair and balanced election for South Sudanese people. Suffering is not even a correct word to describe what we have gone through under this government. South Sudan has been attacked time and time again with the South losing nearly 2.5 million people in genocidal acts by the Northern government, which continues its process of “Arabisation” of all of Sudan.

In the Darfur region, another 400,000 have also been targeted and killed by the Janjaweed militia regimes of the North. Sudan, Africa’s largest and perhaps most dangerous country, has been at war with itself since gaining independence from Britain in 1956. The first Civil War started in 1955 which lasted until 1972 with the peace agreement that was signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by the Sudanese People Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/SPLA). This peace agreement granted the South self-government but not independence. However, this peace agreement was dishonored again by the Khartoum government which resulted in another round of war that began in 1983 when the government of Sudan imposed Islamic Sharia law to all Sudanese.

These two wars were fought in Southern Sudan and were two of the longest and deadliest wars fought in 20th and 21st century. Roughly 2 million civilians were killed in Southern Sudan, and more than 5 million Southerners have been forced to flee their homes and are now living in refugee camps around the world. The civilian death toll is one of the highest of any war since World War II. The war ended when the SPLA/SPLM signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with the Khartoum government in January 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The North is predominantly Arab Muslims and the South is indigenous African Christians or followers of animism. The National Congress Party, an Islamist group controlling and manipulating the South and Darfur regions, attacked the Southerners for their plan of converting them to Muslims and manipulating the South’s oil, and the Darfur people for their Non-Arab heritage. Sudan’s President, Omar al-Bashir, was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2009 for war crimes against humanity, which led to him to expelling all major humanitarian groups working to help the victims of the Darfur genocide, especially women and children. A nation under this kind of leadership is doomed for disaster.

The people of the South have been oppressed by the Khartoum government in the North in many ways: No access to education, no freedom of religion, and most importantly no equal share of its own resources, especially its oil. Southerners have signed peace agreements over and over, and this shows that this government cannot be trusted about what they sign or say. Many of us were born in war and we are about to grow old without a place we can call home. After the Jewish Holocaust, it was said genocide is not to happen again, and it repeated itself again in Rwanda in 1994, and now in Sudan. This is your last chance to help bring peace in Sudan by supporting the South Sudan referendum. Independent South Sudan will stop all the killing of marginalized indigenous African tribes in Sudan. Please act soon because the Khartoum government is divisive with the voting process because the North is willing to do anything to delay the referendum.

The world is watching as this is one of Africa’s most-anticipated elections of all time. Sudan is home to the longest-running war in Africa. Many obstacles lay ahead of us in the South, including the printing presses in the North that are producing all the voting ballets in Arabic, which many of the younger voting generations of the South do not speak, read or write. Also, South Sudan’s infrastructure was largely weakened after a decades-long war and there is a great struggle to make sure the vote gets out to everyone, especially geographically difficult areas like the Nuba mountains. The Northern Khartoum government estimates our population at 8 million when many international NGOs and UN departments have already recognized it is much closer to 11 million. Every vote counts and this is “unacceptable” as our President Salva Kiir already emphasized in 2009 after our February elections. If these outright lies and discrepancies continue to occur, there is a chance that the war might resume. It is time for all of us to say enough is enough for the killing of innocent people because of religious conquest and oil. Do not be a bystander; act before it is too late. The world knows much of what continues to happen in all of Africa is largely affected by humanitarian disasters like those in Sudan.

In a show of support for Sudan’s many genocide victims of the South and Darfur, we have reached out for signatures to Sudanese Diasporas, other African Diasporas, NGOs, the UN, and any world citizen who is willing to take a stand opposed to crimes against humanity. Let this be a testament to the world’s united voice in empowering South Sudan’s Independence from the corrupt, war-driven North.

Sincerely,

Samuel Leek Chol

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