Free to Think talks with Peter Biar Ajak, scholar, civil society leader, and democracy advocate from South Sudan.
As a child, Peter was one of the “Lost Boys” of Sudan, who were displaced by the civil war and endured treacherous journeys to refugee camps. Ultimately, Peter was resettled in the United States, earning degrees in international development and international studies from Harvard and Trinity College, Cambridge.
Forgoing career opportunities in North America and Europe, he returned to South Sudan—the youngest sovereign state in the world where roughly half the population of 12 million is under the age of 18—to assist in peacebuilding. His calls for “generational exit”—transitioning political power through free elections--quickly attracted a following among young people, and threats from senior officials. He was arrested, and jailed for 18 months in the notorious Blue House prison. After international campaigns on his behalf, he was released in January 2020.