As long as I can remember, there was the Sudanese Civil War. First the 1955-1972 Sudanese Civil War, then a short break, then the 1983-2005 Sudanese Civil War, which overlapped the Darfur war, and all these wars have been overlapped and connected by tribal conflicts.
South Sudan was born in July 2011 and the World was proud to have this new country. However, the people of Sudan had only dreamt of peace and independence and hadn't learnt to live it. And so the conflict continues and the Southern Sudanese have only a shaky home.
The lost boys still walk…and run…and walk on…or run again...without finding a home.
I met several Sudanese refugees over the years. I was honoured to be their friend for a while. I learnt about their culture, the marks of their tribes, the importance of cattle. Sometimes I glimpsed of their loneliness; the way no one understood the weight of all those years of war.
“Oh, is there a war in your country?” Ignorance would say.
And the Dinka would softly reply: “There has been for 40 years.”
It is going on 50.
And so at the beginning of a new year, I’d like to stop and remember the Sudanese. May this year bring new seeds of hope and peace to their hearts.