National News

A New Book on South Sudan: “Lives At Stake” launched in Oslo

By Kasang Ajo Dedi,

Gurtong-Oslo, Norway

A new book on South Sudan entitled: “Lives at Stake” was launched in Oslo, Norway on 2nd November 2017. There will be an official launch in Nairobi, Kenya today.

“Everyone knows that the first attempt to make South Sudan a democratic and viable state, failed miserably. An internal power struggle among the leaders of the liberation struggle about what policies to follow, and who should be in charge of the state and government in the future was put to rest”, said Halle Jørn Hansen in his book “Lives at Stake-South Sudan during the liberation struggle”.

An insight book that takes you into the dramatic humanitarian work that was carried out to save lives in South Sudan. On the 2nd of November 2017, Halle Jørn Hansen launched the English translation of his book originally published in Norwegian. The event was organized by Eldorado bookshop in Oslo. The book was positively received by those present.

Present at the book launch was Marit Hærnes, leader of the Sudan and South Sudan peace support. Madam Hilde Frafjørd Johnson, the former Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) and the head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMIS), Øystein H. Rolandsen, East Africa senior researcher at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, Mr. Morris Batali, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan and Mr. Peter Natana, Special Adviser to Pagan Amum, the leader of SPLM-Former Political Detainees (FDs).

Mr. Morris Batali appreciated Halle’s book and the Norwegian government on their continuous efforts in supporting South Sudan.

Mr. Peter Natana, Special Adviser to Mr. Pagan Amum(former Secretary-General of the SPLM) hailed the book. He said the book was all about “solidarity of which the people of South Sudan need now.”

He said the Norwegian version was launched at a tragic time when there was so much hope that the peace would be implemented. He appealed to the government of South Sudan, specially the leadership to restore the trust and hopes of the people suffering in the camps and neighbouring countries.

In his book, Mr. Halle Jørn shares with us developments in South Sudan and Sudan with an emphasis on the role the Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) undertook during the liberation struggle. Halle Jørn Hansen has been an important observer and actor in the liberation of former colonies in Africa.

He worked for thirteen years in Africa as a news reporter and correspondent for the Norwegian broadcasting corporation. He was its first Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya, from mid-1978 to mid-1982. He shared with his Norwegian audience conflicts and developments in a turbulent continent.

As secretary general of NPA, he was in charge of many challenges that the organization was facing in Sudan and other conflict-ridden countries. In the summer of 1987, NPA made a solidarity decision in political and humanitarian terms to support the people of Southern Sudan in their liberation struggle against the oppressive regime in Khartoum.

The book reveals that there was a long discussion in Norway before the work of NPA in South Sudan came into effect. “In addition, our neighbouring countries, particularly Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, and others like Eritrea helped greatly with logistics and manpower,” Halle makes a strong point of the importance of the African pillar in the programme.

In addition to the above-mentioned governments, Halle acknowledges individuals like; Egil Hagen, Thorvald Stoltenberg and Hilde Frafjord Johnson from Norway, Mr. Jan Pronk from the Netherlands(the former SRSG in Sudan), Roger Winter and Gayle Smith both from USA, and late Bethuel Kiplagat from Kenya, and many others who contributed a lot to NPA’s work in South Sudan.

Thorvald Stoltenberg approved NPA’s appeal for funds for South Sudan in 1987.  Mr. Jan Pronk on his part saw the good deeds of NPA and convinced the Dutch government to support NPA’s programmes in South Sudan.

As f for Ms. Hilde Frafjord Johnson, the book emphasizes that without her efforts, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) may not have materialized. Hilde also continued in her role as the first United Nations representative in South Sudan, a role that enabled her to save lives of innocent South Sudanese (specially during the outbreak of the current conflict in December 2013).

Halle jørn Hanssen has rightly gained the trust and respect of South Sudanese for his dedication and solidarity during the liberation struggle. In South Sudan, he is simply known as Uncle Halle.

In October 2013, he was asked by the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, to mediate in the conflict. But all efforts failed and a new and very destructive war broke out in December 2013.

It has caused the death of as many as one hundred thousand people and more than two million people are displaced or fled their homes and are living as refugees in the neighbouring countries. Six million out of a population of an estimated eleven million are now dependent on humanitarian assistance.

The book also portrays the people of South Sudan burdened by a very tragic historic legacy of oppressive tyrants, slavery, violations of both human dignity and rights, and a memory of past colonizers and their split and rule policies.

Mr. Halle will travel to Kenya and will launch his book in Nairobi today, Wednesday 8th November 2017 at the Nairobi Safariclub. The launch will take place at 18:00-20:30 that is 6:00-8:30 Kenya Local Time.




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