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soldier. Now I was a child is my home Huddersfield; 'Anger can eat you up inside': PEOPLE IN ZIMBABWE ARESTILLsuffering." retainedthe presidency -.


DILI Day was only five-years-old when his mother was shot and killed by rebel soldiers in Sudan.

Terrified Dili - who fled the country in northeast Africa and settled inHuddersfield - hid in a water pot during the attack on his village.

But his mother's death was just the beginning of a childhood marred by violence, death and despair as Dili's country was beset by conflict.

Civil war between the north and the south of the country cost the lives of two million people with four million people - half the current population of southern Sudan - forced from their homes.

When Dili was 13 his dad was also killed and he was forced to become a child soldier by the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

Last night 25-year-old Dili told his story at a Dewsbury Town Hall event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The young man wants to help highlight the modern day atrocities of his country and has recorded a tape of his account for local schoolchildren to learn from.

Speaking on film Dili said: "I was a child soldier in the south of Sudan. There has been civil war with two sides fighting about who controls the oil in my country.

"There is a ruthless rebel army called the Janjaweed. They attacked my village and shot my mother when I was five-years-old.

"My father was shot when I was 13. All my friends and anyone who I have ever cared about died at that time.

"I was all alone. I had nothing. I never had a bed to sleep in. I never knew where my next meal was coming from."

Soldiers from the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) told Dili they would look after him and they would be his new family.

He said: "They brainwashed me and made me into a soldier when I was too young.

"The first thing they do is to make you kill another human being.

"They make you look into that person's eyes and they tell you that it was them that killed your father, tortured your neighbour, destroyed your village.

"They make you angry and make you pull the trigger. The image of that person's eyes will never ever leave you."

Dili said he still wakes up at night sweating after horrible nightmares.

He said: "Eventually all that you have is your anger. You have no choice. It is them or you. That anger can eat you up inside.

"Eventually I was shot in the shoulder. There are no ambulances in Sudan.

"I was transported to hospital over several days on the back of a camel. My wound filled up with flies and maggots.

"The doctor told me these maggots that had savedmy life - they had eaten the bacteria and stopped the infection."

When Dili was in hospital he met a man who told him he could take him to England.

He said: "I was hidden in a container for months with five others. I was afraid. I had no idea where I was going and was in pain.

"I arrived in England, I couldn't speak the language. I knew nobody and everything was confusing.

"I had arrived illegally so couldn't work. Life has been really hard. I have faced prejudice, poverty and homelessness. "But I've learned to speak the language, make friends and found a place - Huddersfield - which I now call home.

"It has taken me seven years to get the right to stay here, but this year I have finally been allowed to stay in the UK.

"I want to go to university and build a new life for myself. I am grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way."

Sudan now THIS month people from southern Sudan voted in a week-long referendum on independence from northern Sudan.

It is expected the largely non Muslim south will vote to separate from the Arab-led Muslim north.

Organisers have reported a 90% turnout in some parts of the oil-producing south.

The deal to hold a referendum on secession was the key element of the comprehensive peace agreement that ended the 21-year civil war in 2005.

Preliminary results are expected by the end of the month - with south Sudan becoming an independent nation on July 9 this year if they vote to separate from the north.

Two million people died during the decades-long civil war and four million people were displaced.

DEATH threats and persecution caused Patrick Dlamini to flee his country.

The father-of-three, known as Patrice, was recently granted asylum from Zimbabwe in Southern Africa and is now living in Meltham.

But the widower is still well aware that the human suffering continues back in Zimbabwe - which has been under the regime of Robert Mugabe for almost three decades.

The fortunes of Zimbabwe have been tied to president Mugabe for three decades.

Patrice still finds it hard to talk openly about the trauma he experienced on the run from the army.

He had to flee when he became involved in the country's opposition party - the MDC - after many of his people were wiped out by Mugabe's regime.

Patrice said: "We are not most afraid of Mugabe - he is 86-years-old - but many think that when he dies there will be peace.

"It's not going to happen because whoever is waiting to take over is not going to bring any change - it will be worse and it will remain corrupt - they will try and flex their muscles.

"It has been over 30 years since Zimbabwe got its independence and it is in a worse position now.

"People are still being killed and the economy has gone down terribly - people are still suffering."

Patrice is thankful to the UK and its people for allowing he and his children to remain safely in the country.

But he wants the UK Government to join other world powers to do more to stop the dictatorship and persecution from carrying on in his native Zimbabwe.

In 2008, Mugabe's party Zanu PF suffered a tight defeat in national parliamentary elections but he disputed this and retained the presidency - agreeing to power share with Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara of the MDC-T and MDC-M of the Movement for Democratic change party.

Patrice said the coalition was bound to fail and Mugabe and his party still has a tight grip on the country.

He said: "There is more than enough evidence to t ry Mugabe forwar crimes, sowhy hasn't this been done?"


* CONCERN: Patrice fears more problems will get worse after Mugabe's death
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:6SUDA
Date:Jan 27, 2011
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