I learned how to use weapons before I could read and write. It was not my decision, it happened simply because, during the civil war, there were no schools, so that AK-47s in our hands replaced our pens and books.
If we continue to stand now for peace in South Sudan, then their first chapter as a nation could read of new schools and children living past their 5th birthdays, instead of burned marketplaces and displaced refugees.
Even as few doubt the outcome of South Sudan's referendum, the population has projected a profound collective dignity, reflecting an awareness of the enormity of the step just taken and the challenges that lie ahead.
It is the best of times in the Sudan. It is the worst of times in the Sudan. It is the happiest day in the Sudan. It is the saddest day in the Sudan. It is referendum for the Sudan. It is requiem for Africa.
With the North-South referendum now clearly in sight in Sudan, it is high time for world leaders to press Khartoum to secure a sustainable, enduring peace. It can do so by ending its long history of abuses.
The story is all-too-familiar. A Sudanese town is burnt to the ground. Schools and hospitals are targeted and destroyed. Hundreds of civilians are murdered by tribal militia and 50,000 more are driven from their homes.
There are a number of possible outcomes if an arrest warrant is issued. Bashir has already been indicted on ten counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, although it is speculated that the last might be dropped.
New indie documentary film War Child is a must-see. It tells the sad, courageous story of Emmanuel Jal, a young Sudanese man who was a child soldier during the Sudanese Civil War of the 80s, and became a successful Hip Hop artist.