NO. R-67. House concurrent resolution congratulating Vermont’s “Lost Boys of Sudan” and Sudanese families who have resettled in the state on the occasion of the signing of the Sudanese peace accord.
Offered by: Representatives Cross of Winooski, Aswad of Burlington, Atkins of Winooski, Audette of S. Burlington, Brennan of Colchester, Condon of Colchester, Donovan of Burlington, Head of S. Burlington, Keogh of Burlington, Kiss of Burlington, Lorber of Burlington, Niquette of Colchester, Pugh of S. Burlington, Severance of Colchester, Shand of Weathersfield, Tracy of Burlington, Wright of Burlington and Zuckerman of Burlington.
Offered by: Senator Condos of Chittenden District and Senator Leddy of Chittenden District.
Whereas, for 21 years, the people of Sudan fought a destructive civil war that pitted the largely Muslim north against the predominantly animist south which has sought to pursue its own path as a separate nation, and
Whereas, in 1947, when Sudan was still under colonial rule, a proposal was made to divide the territory’s northern and southern sections into two separate nations, and in 1956, following independence from Britain and Egypt, the south’s desire to become a separate country and the accompanying political tensions remained strong, and
Whereas, in 1972, the Addis Ababa Accord was supposed to end the animosity and pave the way for a separate Southern Sudan, a promise that was never implemented, and
Whereas, the Sudanese government in Khartoum suspended the country’s constitution in 1981, and, in 1983, a civil war began that ultimately claimed two million lives due mostly to war-induced disease and famine, and
Whereas, millions of Sudanese were displaced, including a group of young boys, ages 6-8, who were forced to flee their homes in the grasslands of southern Sudan which soldiers of the Khartoum‑based government had destroyed, and
Whereas, after living with 60,000 of their countrymen in a refugee camp in Kenya for over a decade, about 3,000 of these now young men were resettled in the United States, and 40 were assigned to the Burlington area and are among the approximately 100 Sudanese refugees now residing in the state, and
Whereas, these young Sudanese are extremely fortunate to have arrived in the United States prior to September 11, 2001 because Sudanese immigration to this country has been prohibited since that date, and
Whereas, on Sunday, January 9, Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha and the chair of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, John Garang, signed a peace accord in Nairobi, Kenya which provides autonomy immediately for the south and a referendum in six years on southern independence, and
Whereas, on the day following the signing of the peace accord, the area’s young Sudanese, along with a number of their Vermont friends, celebrated joyously with song in their native Dinka language as they looked forward to reconnecting with surviving family members, and
Whereas, all Vermonters wish these Sudanese well as they look forward to a more promising future, now therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:
That the General Assembly extends best wishes to the Sudanese of Vermont as they embark on a new era in their own and their homeland’s lives, and be it further
Resolved: That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Abraham Awolich and Daniel Akol at the University of Vermont and to Stacie Blake, executive director of the Vermont Refuge Program.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street