Hip hop artist, peace activist and former war child Emmanuel Jal beaten by police in South Sudan
Emmanuel Jal was taken from his home at the age of seven to fight in Sudan’s second civil war. Now, he is an international peace activist and hip hop artist, who was featured in the Pulitzer Center-funded project War Child. On September 8th, Emmanuel was badly beaten by the police in Juba, the South Sudanese capital, while on tour to promote peace in Sudan. In response, he issued this statement:
“I am in South Sudan to highlight peace and have come to speak and perform at the “We Want Peace” business gala and concert on International Peace Day. Two days after arriving in my home country I was attacked by members of Juba’s police and national security. This is an ironic and sad situation that will not deter my path for freedom, equality and justice. I am swollen, but recovering, and thank all the fans and supporters for their well wishes.
I would like to express that abuse of power should not be tolerated on any level. South Sudan must move forward with positivity and equality. Tribalism, police brutality, corruption and other problems of de-stabilisation must be highlighted and stopped in order for the country to progress.
I am releasing this statement because I was raised in an environment where speaking out against injustice is always considered a route for peace. Let us continue to put a spotlight on such dark issues, for it is the best solution in paving a way for our bright future.”
To hear more about Emmanuel’s story watch below or click on the link.
South Sudan - Students studying in a village school in Owachi, located on the banks of the Nile in the Upper Nile State. In the world’s newest country, women’s literacy stands at just 2 percent, and a 15-year-old girl has a greater chance of dying in childbirth than of completing her education according to the International Rescue Committee.
While South Sudan’s secession may be cause for optimism, after decades of war the country lacks the infrastructure needed for economic growth and societal development and peace in the fragile country remains illusive. Image by Cedric Gerbehaye. South Sudan, 2011.
I never asked the president, ‘Do I have permission to do this?’
Amid tensions, South Sudan will secede tomorrow. In less than five hours, the world will officially see the birth of a new nation (not to mention: a new national anthem)
Also, starting tomorrow, your world map will be out of date. But the good people over at the Guardian Data Blog have you covered.
A backgrounder on the situation in Sudan, and the challenges ahead.
Water: The other oil
Image by Rebecca Hamilton. Abyei, Sudan, 2010.
In a move southern leaders called a “declaration of war,” north Sudanese troops invaded the flashpoint border town of Abyei, Sudan over the weekend.
But why does Abyei matter? Hint: it’s not just about the oil.
For the people who live here – who have never seen any benefits from oil and don’t believe they ever will, the talk of oil just feels like a headache they would rather do without. But if you took oil out of the equation you would still have a very big Abyei problem – primarily because of water, but also because of the political manipulation of local actors, and the legacy of war on inter-ethnic relations. None of these issues are getting the coverage they deserve because of the hyped-up focus on oil. -Rebecca Hamilton, 11/3/10
The BBC has a good piece on Abyei today, as well.
Abyei, Sudan: The declaration of war you may not have heard about.
“If not de-escalated, this could be the shot heard round Sudan,”
- John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, to The New York Times
Northern Sudanese troops appear to have taken control of Abyei, a flashpoint town straddling the border between north and south Sudan.
Leaders in southern Sudan called the invasion a declaration of war.
Doctors Without Borders treated 42 wounded in the fighting, noting that most of the residents of the town have fled.
Special Correspondent on Sudan for the WaPo (among other impressive things) Rebecca Hamilton weighs in on why what’s going on in Sudan matters to America and the rest of the world:
1> “It’s the largest country in Africa. If there’s violence in Sudan, then there are refugee flows across the African continent.”
2> “In addition, Sudan used to be the host of Osama bin Laden… when you have a country like Sudan that is able to host terrorists that go on to do significant damage then it becomes a security concern for American citizens.”
3> “Whatever happens in Sudan, it may feel a long way away when you’re here but the impacts can be felt by Americans and by the country as a whole.” (Watch this interview)
Southern Sudan is set to become the world’s newest country in July.
More on Sudan from Pulitzer Center.