Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sudanese Ambassador John Ukec Lueth Ukec's visit to Wichita

Last weekend, Sudanese Ambassador John Ukec Lueth Ukec visited Wichita. His visit was largely a Public Relations stop wherein he spoke to a number of audiences and forums about various issues affecting Sudan and the Region, but most specifically about the crisis in Darfur.

His visit followed by some months, previous visits and forums led by Simon Deng and former "Lost Boys" of the Sudan. And while Ambassador Ukec's version of events was significantly different than those of Simon Deng and others, it was still valuable to hear another perspective on the crisis and on what things could be done to bring about resolution.

On Sunday, I was a part of a small gathering of about 25 people where Ambassador Ukec spoke for more than an hour (uninterrupted) and dealt with Darfur, the 50-year North-South war that preceded the current crisis, the role of diminishing resources, China's involvement, the Janjiweed, the faltering peace treaties, tribalism, and the 23 competing factions that splintered from the SLM. Afterwards we had a brief question and answer session, and I must admit that I left with a greater appreciation for the many of the complexities of the current situation.

I was able to videotape the discussion and I will edit it down and start posting it to YouTube as soon as I get a free weekend.

Now, while I am completely clear on the fact that "Governments lie", his talk has definitely motivated me to intensify my research into the conflict. In fact, at one point he even offered to assist those of us who were willing, to come to Sudan to "see for ourselves".

...The more I think about the offer, the more I am inclined to take him up on it...

I'll keep you all posted on this one.

Pictured: Ambassador Ukec & Wichita NAACP President Kevin Myles
You'll have to forgive the fuzzy photo; it was taken by my
12-year old son Isaiah who couldn't seem to stand still

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Jung/Myers Briggs

INTJ - "Mastermind". Introverted intellectual with a preference for finding certainty. A builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models. 2.1% of total population.
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