January 12, 2011 - 12:00am
Mawuor Dior (MAIPS ’10) studied peace-building and conflict resolution while attending the Monterey Institute of International Studies. His education, along with his deep commitment to the well-being of his people, will serve him well now that he has returned home in time to participate in the birth of a new nation.
A historic vote is taking place in Sudan all of this week. It is widely expected to result in the breakup of Africa’s largest country into Sudan and South Sudan. Mawuor is one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan,” having fled by foot from the nation’s ravaging civil war in 1990, when he was just 12 years old. His journey as a refugee eventually led him to the United States, but his heart never truly left Sudan. Last fall he finally returned to his rural village to be reunited with his family, with support from the Monterey Institute community.
In an e-mail conversation this week, Mawuor shared his opinion that the separation of Sudan into two independent countries is the only viable solution to the longstanding civil war. “It is a very happy time for me to witness it, and to participate through my vote,” says Mawuor. He remains cautiously optimistic, as he knows from his experience and studies that the road ahead is not an easy one. He has been sharing his perspective by speaking at rallies and youth meetings, while learning the political dynamics in his home country. Mawuor intends to be a positive force in the shaping of the new nation. “Euphoria about independence is well and good, but does not translate into the practical solutions that people are longing for,” says Mawuor. “There is so much to be done.”