South Sudan gains independence and splits from the North. I won’t go into the technical details; I’m sure someone else will take care of that. But I will document the split from my own perspective.
I am hopeful.
The split, actually, The Independence of South Sudan seemed inevitable. I could not be happier for the people of South Sudan. They now have the opportunity to build and rebuild their homeland. There is a lesson in there somewhere for all of us. Never give up, especially when facing extreme hardship. What’s truly yours will eventually be in your hands. I hope with all my heart that the world’s newest country will become a beacon and role model to the rest of Africa. If South Sudan, not even a day old and already one of the poorest countries in the world, can lift itself and become the Real Wakanda, then there is hope for the rest of Africa. We need South Sudan to step up as Africa’s Superman. For this, I dream and hope.
But I am anxious.
Up to this point I did not know how I would personally react to the split. The country of my birth has changed dramatically. A large part of me has already started remolding my identity, and I am fighting that part desperately. I have taken two decades to form my current identity. An identity which I did not realize, until this point, was incredibly tied to the arbitrary geography of my birth country. And now that the geography has been reformed, my identity is conflicted, confused.
I thought I was prepared for this moment. But this morning, I woke up early and googled the word “Sudan”. I entered the first link: Sudan’s wikipedia article. I scrolled down slightly and saw the new map of the world. And then it hit me. My heart hurt and my breathing changed. There it was. The Old Sudan, fragmented and broken. The Old Sudan has gained nothing and lost everything. Who knows what will happen now?
And then I researched the New Sudan, the South Sudan. And I saw a video of the country’s first elected president, Mr. Mayardit, being sworn into office. And I heard and read about the reaction in Juba. And I felt hope. My selfish feelings, my unavoidable identity crisis, my childish desire to go home to a country whole, all of these are nothing compared to the desperation, the violence, and destruction that lead to this day. Events culminating in an inevitable breaking point. What other trajectory was there?
Today, people are hopeful. And today, people are anxious.
I am just one of these people. And it’s so incredibly… complicated.