29/1/11 Peter Clifford –
South Sudan Part 3 l Emmanuel Jal l Juba Prison (Conclusion)
Further to my previous posts (Part 1 and Part 2), although the results of the referendum on South Sudan‘s independence will not be formally announced until 14th February, election officials have indicated that with 83% of the votes from the 4 million registered electors, both in Sudan and overseas, counted, 99% have voted to secede from North Sudan, with only 1.4% against.
The UN Security Council has praised the officials in southern Sudan for the way the referendum was organised and run and the President of Sudan, Omar al Bashir, has indicated that his government will accept the decision. So far an estimated 178,000 South Sudanese have already returned from northern Sudan and many more are expected back from overseas once a formal state and government has been established.
The name of the new state is expected to be The Republic of South Sudan, but that is yet to be confirmed. The fledgling country will not have an easy rite of passage to maturity.
Apart from absorbing all the new returnees, there are many issues still to be sorted out with the North over land use and oil fields, new infrastructure is desperately needed, including tarmac roads, schools and hospitals and issues of corruption and the misuse of aid funding from abroad need to be addressed urgently.
Corruption is one issue highlighted by the South Sudanese singer Emmanuel Jal who now lives in the UK. More than 2 million people lost their lives in civil wars in Sudan, including Emmanuel’s Mother, and after her death he was drafted into the rebel army, the SPLA, as a boy soldier aged just seven.
After some terrible experiences he ran away with some other boys, many of whom died along the way, until he was eventually smuggled into Kenya by a British Aid worker, Emma McCune, who adopted him but was tragically killed in a car crash just a few months later. He started singing to ease the pain and “the rest is history”, as they say.
However, Emmanuel has not forgotten his roots and works extremely hard to help other children caught up in war, supporting families in refugee camps and building schools for the street kids in the slums of Nairobi through his foundation and passion Gua Africa .
Having seen the street kids of Nairobi eating out of rubbish bins there myself, I know how bad it can get when you are hungry and penniless and have a cardboard box for a home and no chance of an education.
Read his inspiring story on Wikepedia or for the full story in Emmanuel Jal’s Autobiography ( UK Store Link: “War Child: A Boy Soldier’s Story”, USA Store Link: “War Child: A Boy Soldier’s Story” or see the side panels. Also available, audio book, audio CD and a documentary by the same name)
As for his music, I am not normally a fan of Rap or Hip Hop at all but Emmanuel’s African style moves me – Listen to this great clip below.
“We Want Peace” Step Up For Peace!
(Featuring Alicia Keys, George Clooney, Peter Gabriel on strings and the People of South Sudan)
(Click on the arrows on the righthand side for Full Screen)
If you buy – anything – (and on everything you buy) – through my Amazon links on this site (UK or USA) during the whole of February 2011 I will give 10% of any commission I receive to help Emmanuel’s charity Gua Africa. (Gua – (pronounced “gwaah”) – means Peace)
(Your Amazon buying prices are exactly the same as usual and your personal data remains confidential to Amazon).
** JUBA PRISON STORY PART 3 (Conclusion!) **
Where I left off last time my girlfriend and I had just been summoned to the Prison Governor’s office and then whisked off to Juba airport under armed guard…..TO READ MORE…>>> NEXT PAGE
Peter Clifford: www.petercliffordonline.com
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