Published: July 28, 2011
South Sudan’s emergence as the world’s newest nation generated a flurry of Letters to the Editor coast to coast. Read a sampling beow.
Nonviolent peacekeeping works best
By Norm Keegel, Bainbridge Island, Washington
Kitsap Sun, Washington, July 7, 2011.
I am a volunteer with the Nonviolent Peaceforce, which has trained unarmed civilian peacekeepers. The teams are truly international, certainly not dominated by Americans. The first team was deployed in Sri Lanka, which is where I was born. They were invited there by a local group and were very helpful in defusing situations during the civil war there.
South Sudanese deserve family, school and peace
By Ann Frisch White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Winona Daily News, Minnesota, July 9, 2011.
Regarding your article “Raised overseas, S.Sudanese return to new nation,” on July 6: Many Sudanese in our communities are hopeful that Southern Sudan, celebrating their Independence Day on July 9, will move forward to solve their conflicts without violence.
One international group with roots in Minnesota, Nonviolent Peaceforce, is working quietly in Western and Central Equatoria, to protect civilians from violence as they begin their new democracy. One of the most serious threats is the abduction of children, boys and girls to be child soldiers leaving them traumatized for life.
Peaceful birth of a nation
By Sherry Zitter
The Milford Daily News, Massachusetts, July 6, 2011.
We rarely have the chance to be present at the birth of a nation. This Saturday, Southern Sudan will be born. Her gestation period was difficult, and she will be delivered amidst high risk for conflict and chaos. The safest midwives for such a birth? Unarmed civilian peacekeepers have been working tirelessly for over a year to prevent violence and further loss of lives. Nonviolent Peaceforce, one such group, has been doing preventive work in three locations in Southern Sudan.
A Victory for Peacekeepers
By Alexandra Kedrock, Norfolk, Virginia
HamptonRoads.com., July 12, 2011.
On July 9, Southern Sudan will become a separate country, entering the world of nations with few functioning institutions. During the slow path to building a nation, the risk of chaos and violence will be high. Unarmed civilian peacekeeping is a valuable tool that can help prevent violence and further suffering and loss of lives.
Nonviolent Peaceforce provides preventive work in 3 locations in Southern Sudan. After an election when tension emerged between the incumbent governor of Western Equatoria province and his newly-elected replacement, supporters of the two men were making threats to kill each other. A local official asked NP staff to help. The organization’s non-partisan efforts to broker a stand-down defused the situation, and the governors reconciled, embraced, and calmed their supporters.
By Thor Wagstrom, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Saint Paul Pioneer Press, July 7, 2011
Nicholas Kristof recently wrote of an outbreak of ethnic violence in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan ("Mass killings yet again in Sudan," July 1).
On July 9, Southern Sudan will legally become a new nation, separate from the north. As this historic date approaches, many are concerned that violence will spread along the new boundary.
Nonviolent Peaceforce a nonpartisan organization that uses trained civilian peacekeepers to protect noncombatants in conflict zones, has been invited to help coordinate local security and is currently active in three locations in Southern Sudan. NP is based in Brussels but has deep roots in the Twin Cities, where it was formerly headquartered.