Wednesday, December 11, 2013
PORTLAND - Two rows of soldiers who fought in war-torn Sudan broke into a peace song at Portland High School'sl auditorium Saturday, fists raised in the air, accompanied by hundreds of clapping, cheering and ululating fellow countrymen.
South Sudan's Vice President Riek Machar
The Associated Press
The crowd was welcoming the arrival of Riek Machar, vice president of South Sudan, who spoke to Portland’s Sudanese community about developments in the year-old country which was officially recognized as the Democratic Republic of Southern Sudan in 2011, after a half-century of civil war that killed millions.
The event featured a town hall-style forum, with Machar fielding questions from some of the roughly 400 Sudanese who traveled to Portland from across New England to hear him. Machar met with city officials and Portland Mayor Michael Brennan who filled him in on the contributions of the Sudanese community to the city.