As people gathered to commemorate the International Human Rights Day at Cuei Chok Primary School, I came across a group of seven teenage girls aged between 13 and 16 years seated with a 13-year-old boy. Attempting to talk to them, only the boy responded.
“If I take blood from any of you and ask that you identify which one is Dinka, Shilluk, Murle or Nuer, that will be impossible. Dinkas, Shilluks, Murlers, and Nuer – all have the same blood that unites us as South Sudanese people,” said Dr Agot Aleir Leek, Deputy Governor of Jonglei State.
It was all joy in August this year when I received an email that I had been selected as a United Nations Volunteer; I would be serving as a Public Information Officer with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The excitement was palpable!
They came before dawn.
Arriving in Freedom Square in the murky pre-morning light, hundreds of athletes stretched their legs and jogged on the spot as they prepared to challenge themselves and each other in a 10-kilometre race around the streets of South Sudan’s capital city.