Monday, November 14, 2005

Sudan Man's Insightful Baby Mogo Story

This story was written by a friend of Rob Haarsager, Richard Reesor, who just returned from a visit to a small village in Upper Nile, Southern Sudan (picture also courtesy of Richard):

Insightful Baby Magog Story

Baby Mogo, what will your eyes see?
You were born 5 months ago, the first baby born in your village after the signing of the peace treaty ending 22 years of war. Will you know a life of peace, or will the prospects of peace in your land only be a cruel mirage that evaporates in your eyes before your 5th birthday?

Will you live to your 5th birthday?
Or, will you succumb to the threats of malaria, malnutrition and unsafe drinking water because your village lacks access to a medical clinic. As your village chief warns, "Disease does not wait until morning and the 10 hour walk to the nearest clinic!"

Will you attend school?
Will your mind learn to recognize the letters and words your eyes see so you can read and write, so you can explore through books, the sciences, history, learn to reason and learn about other cultures and their understanding of God?

How will you earn your living?
Will you learn from a teacher about mysteries and vocations unknown to your village or will you learn only from your elders knowledge past down through the generations teaching you how to subsist by keeping livestock, fishing, cultivation, gathering wild foods and herbs and making petitions to the mysterious god NGO?

Will you marry?
Will you find a way to accumulate the bride price of 10 cows and 24 goats? Will you learn about other models of marital relationships or will you learn that your masculinity divines you the right to the family assets, including your wife, who will be responsible for providing food, water, firewood and comfort for you and your children?

Will you learn how to be a peacemaker?
Or, will you learn from your elders that your enemies are the Dinka, the Nuer and the Jalaaba and that your responsibility is to avenge the wrongs done to your ancestors when your eyes see the opportunity?

Baby Mogo, what will your eyes see?
- - -

Sudan tells U.S. "We don't need you"

Last week, US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick met with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum. Mr Zoellick is responsible for overseeing disbursement of billions of dollars of development funds pledged for Sudan.

Zoellick with al-Beshir

On Nov 10, during his visit to southern Darfur, Mr Zoellick clashed with regional commissioner Sadiek Abdel Nabi who proclaims himself Bashir of the region.

Upon Mr Zoellick's return to the US, President Bashir gave local press a message to Zoellick (and the US) saying "we don't need you."

One can only guess Mr Zoellick reminded Khartoum of the 'peace' strings attached to the $4.5 billion pledged by the international community, and President Bashir's petulant message was a knee jerk reaction to being dictated to. Heh.

Meanwhile, instead of arresting any Janjaweed, Sudan praises bilateral relations with India and India's Exim Bank extends $450m loan to Sudan.

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