South Sudan’s Rocky Road To Lasting Peace

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Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior decided to return home to South Sudan from exile along with her two daughters. She’s the widow of the former rebel leader John Garang de Mabior. Rebecca Nyandeng now intends to campaign for unity among her people. It is her greatest hope that her children will also begin new lives in South Sudan.

JUBA NOVEMBER 1: Following its independence in 2011, South Sudan suffered from a bloody civil war. After a peace accord five years ago calmed the situation, Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior decided to return home from exile along with her two daughters.

She’s the widow of the former rebel leader John Garang de Mabior, a man who spent years of his life fighting for South Sudan’s independence from the Republic of Sudan. On the heels of a 2005 peace agreement, Garang served as Vice President of Sudan for just a few weeks, before his death in a helicopter crash.

In 2011, his dream of an independent South Sudan became a reality. But in the years that followed, former independence fighters like the current South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit began wrestling for power in South Sudan. Hundreds of thousands of people died.

Rebecca Nyandeng now intends to campaign for unity among her people. Nothing unsettles the widow more than the thought that her husband’s battle and that of millions of other South Sudanese could be in vain. These feelings motivated her to return to her homeland after many years in Kenyan exile and get involved in politics.

It is her greatest hope that her children will also begin new lives in South Sudan. Rebecca Nyandeng’s daughter Akuol, the director of the documentary, was born and raised in exile. Her South Sudanese identity is bound up with many questions and fears. She accompanies her mother and sister Nyankuir with the camera as a way of facing up to these fears. “No Simple Way Home” is a trans-generational dialog on the dual challenges of family life and political engagement.

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