Peace In Sudan
By Francis Bok
On Sunday, a peace treaty was signed in Nairobi ending the
fighting between the National Islamic Front government of Sudan
and the southern Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). This is a
major development for my people.
The peace was signed while I was flying to San Francisco to speak
at a high school. I just returned from California,
and I want to share with you my feelings about the news.
For two decades, my people have been struggling to be free. The
government in the north, dominated by Arabs and Muslims, tried to
impose Islamic law on all of us. And it tried to make African
Muslims give up their African identity. When we resisted jihad and
Arab domination, the government sent armed forces to make us
submit. In one of the government's raids in 1986, I was abducted
agreement means we have hope for a real peace. Southern Sudanese
will be free to have their own local government. We will get a
share of the money from oil that's being drilled in the south. In
three years there will be elections for a new government. And in
six years there will be a vote in the south to decide if we want
to become our own independent country.
This peace treaty would not have happened without you. On
behalf of my people, I want to thank all of the supporters of the
American Anti-Slavery Group. I believe, and my people believe,
that you have pushed the United States government to pressure the
Sudanese regime to make peace with the people of southern Sudan.
of you have been with us for years. You have given your energy and
your talents to our struggle. You helped us achieve this great
moment. We so appreciate everything you have done. You have spoken
out to get your leaders to stop slavery and genocide across Sudan
– in the South and in Darfur.
People are happy and celebrating – but we are still worried.
The government in the North has signed peace treaties and changed
its mind before (like the 1972 peace treaty signed in Addis
Ababa). Also, thousands of my people are still held in slavery in
the North. Unlike me, they were not able to escape. And the
government is still raiding the African Muslims of Darfur, in
Western Sudan, killing 1,000 people a day.
So my message to you is please don't abandon us now. If there
is not pressure on the Sudanese government, they will slip back
again. And there still thousands of children in slavery who are
waiting for us to help free them. They are still serving their
masters. We have to get them released now, to get them reunited
with their relatives.
And we have to demand the Government of General Omar al-Bashir
stop the killing in Darfur. Now is the time for peace and for
freedom - but only if we act. Please visit www.SudanActivism.com
and encourage all of your friends to visit as well. And please
a donation to support our work.
I am going to keep speaking out. I will not rest until I see
the full victory for my people – and for the 27 million people
who are in bondage around the world. We are on the journey to
where we want to go, to a big victory where we can live in
freedom. Please help us get the rest of the way.