what’s shakin’ “The Sudanese in America must get ready,”
continued Diing. “We need to go to Southern
Sudan to get the points of view of the people
continued from page 6
there before the referendum. We need to dis-
end to hostilities between the two sides, the cuss what we are voting for. We need to see
longest civil war in Africa. what we can do to get ID for people who need
The agreement gave Southern Sudan six it, and we need to plan for transportation.”
years with an autonomous government. Those After all the buildup, once the vote is
six years are drawing to a close, and on Jan. taken, what outcome does Diing expect?
9, 2011, the citizens will have the opportunity “We predict there will be a lot of conflicts,”
to decide for the separation of the south from he answered. “The Southern Sudanese want
Sudan or remain united with the government separation, but the north doesn’t like that. We
that is currently based in Khartoum. fear the conflicts, but on Jan. 9, I believe that
The agreement also gives Sudanese in Southern Sudan will vote for a new nation.
exile, including the 700 or so in Central New It will be called ‘New Sudan’ or ‘Southern
York, the opportunity to vote. Diing wants to Sudan’ and our capital will be in Juba.”
make sure his fellow Sudanese in the Syra- Diing invites the public to attend the June
cuse area are fully aware of what’s at stake. 27 event. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35
To that end, he is promoting a gathering at the at the door, and can be purchased by con-
Spaghetti Warehouse, 689 N. Clinton St., on tacting Diing at (716) 392-5496 or Anthoni
Sunday, June 27. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the Makur at 447-9003.
evening will feature folk music, entertainment —ed GriffiN-NolaN
and presentations about the logistics and the
politics of the upcoming referendum.
John Dau, a local Sudanese American
misery loves company
Fatherhood, humility and a dash of matu-
and producer of the acclaimed 2006 film and
rity can do funny things to angst-filled rock-
book, God Grew Tired of Us, will address the
ers. Take Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner. His
gathering along with Maureen Sieh, a local
band has sold millions of albums. He’s dated
journalist who has traveled frequently to Africa.
famous actresses (Winona Ryder, anyone?)
Diing has also invited Ezekhiel Gatkvoth, the
and even won a Grammy for a song that
ambassador to the United States from Southern
millions can sing in their sleep (“Runaway
Sudan, to speak about the situation back home.
Train”). But all of that nearly distracted him
Proceeds will benefit two organizations,
from what he loved most about being in Soul
one to assist humanitarian efforts in Sudan
Asylum—getting on stage and playing music.
and a second to facilitate local Sudanese
“I used to be afraid of our fame,” Pirner,
participation in the referendum. The Aid
46, explained during a recent tour stop in
and Care for Africa organization (www.
Santa Fe, N.M. The group is co-headlining a
aidandcareforafrica.org) provides funding for