War and Peace in Africa

War and Peace in Africa will examine conflict and conflict resolution through case studies of Sudan and Ethiopia-Eritrea. Alphonsion Deng and Joseph Ayii, two of the Lost Boys of Sudan, are special guest speakers.

Saturday, March 18, 2006
2:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Room 220, Haines Hall
UCLA campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Participants will explore the child soldier phenomena and how violence denies children their right to an education, health care and even the basic right to survival. This forum is the second in the series, "Children's Rights as Human Rights."


  • 2:00  --  Welcome/Introduction -- Professor Allen Roberts, Director, African Studies Center
  • 2:10  -- War & Peace in the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia & Eritrea)
    John Prendergast, International Crisis Group
  • 2:35  -  War & Civilian Vulnerability in Sudan
    Jok Madut Jok, Loyola Marymount University
  • 3:00  --  Question and Answer Session/Brief Break 
  • 3:40  --  Childhood in War & Peace
    Alphonsion Deng & Joseph Ayii, Lost Boys of Sudan
  • 4:05  --  Protecting Human Rights and Children’s Rights during Conflict
    Darcie Olson, Amnesty International
  • 4:30  --  Conflict and Conflict Resolution in Africa
    Edmond Keller, UCLA
  • 4:55 - 5:30  --  Question and Answer Session/Closing Remarks

John Prendergast
John Prendergast is a Special Adviser to the President at the International Crisis Group (ICG).  Prior to joining ICG, he was a Special Adviser to the U.S. State Department focusing on conflict resolution in Africa. He also was Director of African Affairs at the National Security Council.  Mr. Prendergast has worked for a variety of think tanks, UN agencies and NGOs in Africa and on African issues, including the U.S. Institute of Peace, Human Rights Watch, and UNICEF. He is the author of seven books on Africa, including ICG’s latest book on Sudan, God, Oil & Country: Changing the Logic of War in Sudan, as well as its new book on southern Africa, Blood and Soil: Land, Politics and Conflict Prevention in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Jok Madut Jok
Jok Madut Jok is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  He  received his Ph.D. from UCLA. Born and raised in southern Sudan, Professor Jok was in high school when the current round of civil war resumed. The state of constant turmoil led to his political awareness and activism throughout his high school and university career. As a graduate student in Egypt and the United States, he worked on the impact of war on gender relations. Professor Jok has been conducting research in Sudan and refugee camps in the neighboring countries where he chronicled how violence is reproduced within communities and families during times of violent political conflict. Professor Jok has conducted numerous other studies on the impact of humanitarian aid in Sudan and among other books is the author of Militarization, Gender and Reproductive Health in South Sudan and  War and Slavery in Sudan: The Ethnography of Political Violence.

Edmond Keller
Edmond J. Keller is a professor of political science, Director of the UCLA Globalization Research Center-Africa and former Director of the James S. Coleman African Studies Center at the University of California-Los Angeles. He specializes in comparative politics with an emphasis on Africa. Keller received his B.A. in Government from Louisiana State University in New Orleans, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has taught at Indiana University, Dartmouth College, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Xavier University (New Orleans), and the University of California-Santa Barbara. Keller has been a visiting research scholar at the Institute for Development Studies (Nairobi, Kenya), the Bureau of Educational Research (Nairobi), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the Africa Institute of South Africa, and the University of California-Berkeley Institute for International Studies. Also, he has consulted widely on issues relating to African Development and public policy, and, more recently, on the process of political transitions in Africa, and on African regional security issues.  He is the author of Revolutionary Ethiopia: from Empire to People's Republic and numerous articles on African political development.  Presently Professor Keller’s main research are on issues of political transitions in Africa, cultural pluralism and nationalism, and conflict and conflict management in Africa.

Alephonsion Deng and Joseph Ayii
Alephonsion Deng and Joseph Ayii are from Sudan and now live in the San Diego area.  Both were driven from their homes when they were children and will share their experiences.  In an article he wrote for Newsweek, Alephonsion described how he and other boys walked thousands of miles after government troops destroyed his village in 1989.  He walked for five years; he made it to a camp in Kenya where he lived for almost a decade before being chosen, along with a few thousand "lost boys," to go to the US.  His life since coming to the US has been one of tremendous adjustment -- he knew how to survive in Sudan, but the United States was a new world.  He says, he "...had never turned on a light, used a telephone, or driven a car."  He discusses the challenge he faced, "I'd lived with war, but I still needed to learn to live with peace....Always the outsider who was ready to fight, I existed in a cloud of anger and depression."  It took him several years to make friends and adapt to his new country, and he admits that he is still struggling.  But, he finds that talking about his experiences and sharing his story with others, is cathartic, as was writing his memoir.  He writes, "Still, I know it is possible to move on.  For all those years I lived with revenge on my mind.  Now I'm a man with the seeds of love, dignity and hope in his heart."  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9785295/site/newsweek/

Alephonsion may bring copies of the memoir he co-authored -- They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan to sell and for a book signing.

Special Instructions

Enter Westholme and Hilgard Avenue.

Cost : Free and open to the public; parking is available for $8.

For more information please contact:

James S. ColemanAfrican Studies Center

Tel: 310-825-3686



Sponsor(s): African Studies Center