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South Sudan: Challenges Facing the New Country
It would be absolutelly disgusting and wrong in every way possible if any country in the world today had a Hitler day to "celebrate" his "accomplishments."still honors Christopher Columbus, the man who "opened the Atlantic slave trade and launched one of the greatest waves of genocide known in history," with a federal holiday.
The pathological liar who in 2008 made up a story about snipers firing at her while visiting Bosnia in 1996 is coming back to the Balkans in mid-October.
One has to wonder what stories about this new trip will this phony pathological liar come up with when the time comes to campaign for re-election?!
Perhaps a story about rape...
The notion of South Sudanese airplanes bombing Khartoum could make the regime of Omar al Bashir think twice before sending forces and planes to destroy the south and its population in the aftermath of the 2011 referendum on self-determination.
It is very likely that the GOSS leadership is hoping that the Khartoum regime will take notice of their purchase of hundreds of tanks, artillery and new helicopters and fighter jets, coupled with years of extensive training for the South Sudanese armed forces and air force pilots in many countries around the world. While in the previous two north-south wars the southerners had no aerial capability and could hardly mount any serious attacks on the northern forces outside South Sudan, this time they will be able to strike right in the middle of the Sudanese capital.
Perhaps the notion of southern bombs falling all over Khartoum and other northern cities as a reaction to an attack on the south will make the regime of Omar al Bashir think twice before sending forces and planes to destroy South Sudan and its population yet again.
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In this video, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Business School from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, reflects on the importance of the South Sudan Executive Leadership Program and the opportunity to shape the future of the region left in ruins by one of Africa's longest civil wars.
Christine Bednarz who blogs at Journey East conducted an interview with me about my book, "Not My Turn to Die: Memoirs of a Broken Childhood in Bosnia" (March 2008, AMACOM Books, New York).
Growing up in Goražde, Bosnia, Savo Heleta did not think about ethnicity, race or religion. Everyone knew one other in the small peaceful city, his best friend was Muslim, and most considered themselves “Yugoslav.”
In Not My Turn to Die, Heleta describes (perhaps a bit too simply) how nationalist politicians led the country into war, but this is certainly not a story about politics. He provides a gripping account of his family’s struggle for survival during the first two years of the war, through constant shelling, murder attempts, degradation and forced starvation.
His family was among the few Serbian civilians that stayed in Goražde, a Muslim dominated city, and ironically, they suffered through shelling and sniper attacks from their own ethnicity. The city was crowded with Bosniak refugees from neighboring towns, and Heleta’s family became isolated in their own home among their neighbors with no connection to the outside world. Simple actions such as retrieving water became a matter of life and death. Eventually his family escaped by swimming in the Drina River to safety, but not until after they lived in complete terror for two years.
We often read personal accounts of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina from a Muslim perspective and statistically, Serbs were guilty of most of the killing. However, Serbs also were persecuted during the war and suffered extreme losses.
Heleta’s memoir describes such experiences. He reminds us that this is only his story, and that he cannot speak for the country as a whole. Often Heleta describes acts of kindness from Muslim neighbors and his detailed, journalistic style is engrossing and sincere.
The book is as much about peace as it is about war, and readers witness the transformation of an angry adolescent to a forgiving adult, who studies and works on post-conflict issues in Africa today. I felt privileged to speak with him, and to hear his opinions on the war, life in Bosnia today, and the future of the ethnically partitioned state.
My students are "inspired by Heleta's personal transformation from an angry teenager seeking revenge to a bright scholar actively seeking resolution to global conflicts. Because the conflicts in Yugoslavia occurred relatively recently, many of my students have vivid memories of media reports on the subject. The book and the author's amazing transformation provoke students to consider what the United States could do to help resolve ethnic conflicts around the world and, more important, what students can do as individuals to help make a difference."
"Another strength of this book is that it provides a very unique perspective on Yugoslavian ethnic conflicts. Reports on the gruesome genocide committed by Serbs against Muslims are widespread. However, we also need to be reminded that horrible things happened not only to Muslims but also across all ethnic lines. The experiences of the Heleta family demonstrate that the destructive power of ethnic nationalism has the potential to affect all.""Meanwhile, this book is not solely about ethnic conflicts or one ethnic group persecuting another. Throughout the book, the author gives an honest account of the positive side of the human relationship. Many of the Heleta family's Muslim friends, neighbors, and sometimes strangers reached out to them, helping with food and shelter, and even saved their lives. These citizens' courageous acts illustrate that human beings are indeed able to act humanely and rationally during times of political propaganda and manipulation of a racial-ethnic divide."
Note: This is only a part of the review, published here with the permission of the author.
For more info about the book, visit Savo Heleta's website: www.savoheleta.com
In this paper, Savo Heleta argues that in the present situation, with so many issues unresolved around the country, Sudan's complicated national elections would not lead to pluralism and democracy but rather to instability, further polarization, and post-election chaos. As currently planned, the elections would be a logistical nightmare for any country, let alone Sudan, leaving too much room for post-election manipulation of votes.
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About the author
Savo Heleta is a PhD candidate in Development Studies at
Savo can be reached at email@example.com
Visit www.savoheleta.com for more info.