“I have something I want to tell you now,” he said.
“Everyone who is here now is here because of America. It was your president, Bush, who forced the north to sign the peace.
“You educate our people. Our top leaders were educated in America, my son too. You are our deepest friends. Even our young children know this about America.
“Even these oil companies, we want them to leave, and American companies to come back.
“I appeal to you, bend down your ear to hear us.
“We are going to our referendum. We want to leave. We want independence. But the Arabs don’t want this. We need your help. The Arabs do not want to let us go.
“America, please, reach down your hand to us.
“Please take back my message.”
Alan Boswell speaking to the paramount chief of the Dok Nuer in Unity State, Southern Sudan.