Ladege was born in the capital of Sudan, Juba, on Jan. 1, 1990. He and his family settled in a refugee camp in Uganda within the same year. He immigrated to the United States in 1999 with his brother, sister and grandparents in October 1999 when he was nine years old. His father had died in the Sudanese military and his mother stayed behind in Uganda.
“South Sudan is still in the middle of a war, and for that reason, so many families including mine had to leave their villages for their own safety,” Ladege said in a letter written to Senator Claire McCaskill.
Ladege and his family fled Sudan because of the Second Sudanese Civil War that was taking place in the country. This war started in 1983 and lasted until 2005. The Republic of Sudan, also known as South Sudan, separated from its mother country and became its own state six years after the war in 2011.
Ladege said also said in the letter he has not gone back to Sudan because he would be afraid for his life if he were to return and because he has no family there.