FRANKLIN - When Gabriel Dut Bethou fled his remote village in southern Sudan 14 years ago, after a raid by soldiers of the faction that controlled the country at the time, it was with fear for his own life and grief for a family he thought had been killed.
Fourteen years later, the 24-year-old is preparing to return to his homeland — this time, with unimaginable joy.
Bethou, a student and employee at Dean College in Franklin, will be reunited with his mother, Ayen Aleer, and 20-year-old sister Akuot Bethou, both of whom he spent more than a decade believing to have been killed in the attack.
He will also meet for the first time two younger sisters born after Akuot and his parents — his father was later killed in other strife — relocated to the Sudanese city of Juba: Aluong, 10, and Nyakong, 14.
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Earlier this year, Franklin Matters had posted on the story as reported in the Boston Globe