When one thinks of Sudan, a normal response is terrorist. That statement is untrue because southern Sudan is mostly Christians and they want to secede from the union of Arab Nations. It is good to see countries wanting freedom. These are the countries USA will support to build a friendlier nation in the Middle East and Africa.
GUDELE, Sudan — Villagers in southern Sudan voted on Sunday for what many saw as their freedom from “slavery” in a referendum forecast to bring independence to their neglected region of central Africa.
“We were the slaves of the Arabs… Today we are voting for our freedom,” said Duku John, a square-jawed young southerner in a dusty village, with purple ink on his thumb showing he had cast his ballot.
John and many others did not mince their words, in a region whose residents were subjected to slavery and had to wait 55 years for self-determination, including a total of almost four decades of conflict with Khartoum.
“We, the blacks, were the slaves of the Arabs. We now want to build our own country,” said John, standing in front of a long queue outside a polling station in Gudele, near the southern capital of Juba.
“This vote is the final battle. We are hurling the last bomb at the north,” chipped in Charles Sambos, who toiled for 25 years in sugar-cane plantations of northern Sudan before returning to his home region last year.
“This is the end of Arabisation, the end of Islamisation,” he said in the village with its mix of thatched, mud-brick and concrete homes.
Lengthy lines of voters formed at polling stations all over southern Sudan on the first of a seven-day independence referendum which was the main plank of a 2005 peace deal ending a north-south civil war.
Two decades of all-out war pitting the mainly Muslim and Arab north against the mostly Christian and animist south – termed Sudan’s second civil war between the two sides — cost two million lives. .