11/11/2011 BBC News Report: Sudan ‘bombs refugees’ in South Sudan’s Unity state


The BBC’s James Copnall was at the Yida camp in South Sudan’s oil-rich Unity State, which borders Sudan, when it was bombed.  Local official Miabek Lang said at least 12 people had been killed and 20 wounded. The Sudanese military, which has been fighting rebels in areas near South Sudan, has denied the claims. Our reporter says he arrived at the camp at about 12:00 GMT on Thursday as a second round of bombs hit.  He says that just as a UN helicopter, carrying food aid, settled on to a makeshift-landing zone at the camp, there was a deep and terrifying thud of a nearby explosion.  A large plane was spotted heading to the north, our reporter says. Several residents of the refugee camp told him it was an Antonov plane, often used by the Sudanese government as a makeshift bomber. The plane had circled before launching two bombing raids. Five bombs were dropped, of which four exploded.

Dr. Lawrence Wongo: Understanding The Republic of South Sudan

The Republic of South Sudan (RSS) became independent on July 9, 2011 after a referendum vote in January 2011, in which 98.8% of Southerners voted for secession from the rest of Sudan. Located in central and eastern Africa, RSS is roughly the size of Texas, land locked and surrounded by seven other countries. The new country, made up of 10 states, is democracy with the three branches of government: the executive, parliament and judiciary. The national flag consists of wide horizontal black, red and green stripes, separated by two narrow white bands. The stripes represent the black people, their blood and fertile land, respectively, and the white, peace.

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Dr. Lawrence Wongo: ESCA-USA Conference Provides Opportunity

On September 3, 2011, the Equatoria Sudanese Community Association in the USA ESCA-USA held its Eleventh Annual Conference at the Qwest Learning and Conference Center in the Mile-High City of Denver, the capital of the beautiful Rocky Mountain state of Colorado. Organized by ESCA-CO, the conference attracted over 200 Southern Sudanese from the Diaspora in the USA and Canada, as well as citizens of the new Republic of South Sudan. This year’s conference was significant, because it came on the heels of the declaration of independence for South Sudan on January 9, 2011. The conference theme was “Equatoria Views and Voices: 50 Years of Struggle, Freedom from Fear and the Power of Unity”.

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Dr. Lawrence Wongo: Birth of the Republic of Southern Sudan

“We, the democratically elected representatives of the people, based on the will of the people of South Sudan, and as confirmed by the outcome of the referendum of self-determination, hereby declare South Sudan to be an independent and sovereign nation.”

With the reading of the words above, the Speaker of South Sudan’s Legislative Assembly, the newest nation in the world, the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) was born on Saturday, July 9, 2011. RSS becomes the world’s 196th nation, 193rd UN member, and 54th Africa’s country.

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Some Thoughts from Co-Producer Micklina Peter Kenyi

As a Southern Sudanese women, working on this film gives us the opportunity to share our untold stories with the entire world in the hope that members of the international community can internalize our individual war experiences and understand what it was like for us growing up in war torn Sudan. Through this ability to reach others with our stories, we hope to underscore the responsibility we all must share to protect humanity: especially the women and children who are most vulnerable.  We would like to bring hope to the millions affected by the destructive bloody conflicts around the world as well as find viable solution and peaceful means of solving the problems and difficulties women face in their daily lives.

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Dr. Lawrence Wongo: The Explosive Situation in Abyei, Southern Kordofan

Of late, political developments in Sudan have taken a down turn, with relations between the North and the South at their worse since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. On the night of May 19, 2011, the Sudanese Armed forces (SAF) component of the Joint Integrated Unit (JIU) convoy was allegedly attacked by Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) forces while it was being escorted by the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), killing 22 SAF soldiers.

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Dr. Lawrence Wongo reports from The 2011 Equatoria Conference held in Juba Southern Sudan

A well-attended Equatoria Conference 2011 was convened in Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan from April 14-17, 2011. The conference attracted over two thousand participants of all walks of life from the three states of Eastern, Central and Western Equatoria, Equatoria Diaspora communities from the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK, East Africa, Egypt, Qatar and Oman, as well as from other states in Southern and Northern Sudan. The theme of the conference was “Justice, Unity and Prosperity.” The topics discussed were Governance, Development and Security.

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The Dawn Will Break Website Launch!

Coinciding with the launch of our website, Micklina Peter Kenyi, the film’s Co-Producer, Associate Producer Dr. Lawrence Wongo, and Susan Wongo, the daughter of the SPLM’s founding father Joseph Oduho, flew to San Francisco to give a presentation and hold a panel discussion at the USF Human Rights Film Festival on March 31. The next night we held a fund raising event at Yoshi’s in San Francisco that was graciously hosted by Kathleen Rydar and Christine Harris. We would like to thank everyone who attended both events and look forward to sharing this amazing journey with you.