Since 1983, Sudan has been the epicenter of a horrific conflict. Battles between northern Sudan's government forces and the southern Sudanese People's Liberation Army have left scars and ethnic divisions too numerous for world media to cover. Each day, thousands of refugees escape to neighboring regions. Mass killings, torture, and rape are common practice within and around the borders. Survival of the Fittest is not only the story of Mator Adol-Mawien's survival but his relentless drive to find freedom from his captors and justice for his people.
Malek Tor, a wise man known for his predictions in my Dinka village, predicted my birth. He said my parents' fourth born would be a boy, and they were to name him Mator. It means dust storm, wind storm, and tornado in the Dinka language. It would not be long before he was proven correct.
I was the throne-holder for my family, a future king, and I was treated very well. All who entered my kingdom knew that I had a big heart and followed in my father's greatness. But when the northern army entered my village with the intent to kill and destroy, escaping Sudan became the only option for my survival.
I was only nine years old when SPLA soldiers rescued me from my village, telling me that they wanted to make sure my village was safe before they would reunite me with my family. Thousands of miles later, I realized they lied. The civil war killed many in my village, including my father and other family members. Many of my friends either died or found themselves torn from their families, as I had been.
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December 01, 2012
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