A Former Rebel's Search for Sudanese Identity
By Nora BoustanyFriday,
February 11, 2005; Page A21
The year was 1974, and a young Sudanese army officer from the southern part of the country and his superior, a major from the north, had come to the United States with hundreds of other people from around the world for military training at Fort Benning, Ga. .
The group spent a week of orientation in Washington studying U.S. history, the Constitution and government. During one session, the Africans in the group were asked to stand up and be counted, but the two Sudanese remained seated. When the Middle Eastern members were called on, they still stayed put.
"At the end, we were the only two left," recalled John Garang, the southerner, who later led a decades-long rebellion against the Sudanese government. "We were obviously African . . . but this is the issue of identity. We don't know who we are, and that underlies the ambiguity."
Since 1956, when Sudan was freed from foreign mandate powers, the country has "failed to find itself and to have a soul," Garang said in an interview in Washington this week. "Various governments have come and gone, and the Sudanese have looked for their identity elsewhere -- in Christianity, in the Arab world, in scenarios of an Islamic state. But we did not ask ourselves: What made us Sudanese?"
Monday, February 05, 2007
John Garang on the question of identity
I found this old Washington Post article about the former leader of the SPLM Dr John Garang interesting as it touches the ambiguity of the Sudanese identity crisis. Check the full article here: