“The Voice of the South Sudanese Diaspora”
Who are/What is the South Sudanese diaspora?
To the South Sudanese Diaspora
Coalition of Advocates for South Sudan,
April 17, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudanese diaspora are immigrants who escaped Sudan in search of refuge in the neighboring countries and across the globe. The reason for this mass migration was ill treatment and religious persecution of South Sudanese by the Sudan government. In the dawn of the second civil war, a significant number of South Sudanese were granted refugee status and resettled in many countries around the world.
However, with the turn of the millennium, among the South Sudanese in the diaspora and in the United State, Canada and Australia in particular, the “Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan” became the most easily identified element of the diaspora; this group has become the grown up “Lost Boys and Girls” today. As very young boys and girls, they walked from Southern Sudan across dry plains, rivers, swamps and forests fleeing the scourge of the Sudanese army to Ethiopia. Many died in the forced migration. Subsequently, they were expelled from Ethiopia, and made a similar trek across Southeastern South Sudan to the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya where many were educated and selected to go to North America, Australia and other nations.
In North America and Australia the Diaspora has gone through a traumatic but transforming process.
Like other African-born immigrants, the South Sudanese diaspora has sought education. More African-born immigrants hold a college degree (44%) than Asian immigrants, native-born white Americans or native born African Americans. Many have achieved this level of education while working, raising a family, and helping to support an extended family in South Sudan. To their credit they have become proud Americans while retaining elements of their South Sudanese heritage. They have had the opportunity to benefit from the best practices of two vastly different societies.
Most of them have a Christian background and claim a strong faith. It is not uncommon for them to affiliate with one denomination in their new home, but another when they go “home”. This can be directly attributed to the British Colonial practice of sending foreign missionaries to areas based on their denomination.
At the same time, they are not a homogeneous group and reflect many of the characteristics of the population from which they originated. As reported by the Democratic Progress Institute, “Diaspora members have the resources, skills, and contacts to alter the course of events in their homelands. While these resources may be used to perpetuate conflict, they could just as easily be redirected to support peace and reconstruction.”
South Sudanese Diaspora Contribution to rebuilding their Country
South Sudanese Diaspora feels compelled to be involved in the political, social, and development needs of those who remain in their native Country. Typically they are, understandably, most interested in the state, county and village from which they came. Thus we see the installation of wells, schools and hospitals funded through diaspora efforts in very specific locations. That loyalty and established connections, if used collectively to denounce today’s civil war, increases the chance that the voice of Diaspora could be what is needed to make South Sudan’s warring parties choose peace and establish rule of law that will protect all the citizens regardless of their ethnicity.
However, within some of the diaspora we see a reflection of the tribal hatred, bitterness, resentment, that many in South Sudan feel. Because of the ready availability of communication methods, especially within the social media and in editorials, we see the propagation of hatred which supports the continuation of war rather than a peace-directed compromise beneficial to all the people.
On the Other Hand
Diaspora members have a unique perspective and have much to offer the mediation process. They have a viewpoint informed both by their understanding of their homeland and the benefit of higher education and exposure to multiple societies and concepts. Therefore, the Diaspora must not only to realize that it has influence but also a moral responsibility to support peace in their country.
While they may not have the “seat at the table”, that so many desire, they have the ability to influence the parties in preliminary negotiations and through consistent, constructive contact. Additionally, they may offer their services to those who directly facilitate the negotiations by sharing their perspective. Lastly they can help to influence the population at home in constructive ways.
Advocates from other nations and cultures, no matter the level of passion and study, cannot develop the understanding of the people that the South Sudanese themselves have. Such advocates can be much more effective when they work closely with South Sudanese with similar goals.
In much the same way, the diaspora, though not involved directly in the negotiations, can add value and understanding to those who moderate and facilitate the direct negotiations. It has the ability and resources to strongly influence the outcome of this unfortunate, ongoing war. The Diaspora can become a united force for Peace and Progress by offering the mediation process deep understanding and knowledge and internationally obtained contacts while using their skills and perspective seeking the best for all the South Sudanese people
Choice: To Support War or Peace?
The purpose of this document is to appeal to the Diaspora to support peace and not war. No military solution can bring an end to the 15 months-long war. All the revenge killing and retaking of towns by the government and rebel forces is only deepening and exacerbating the existing level of tribal loathing among our innocent population. Therefore, the current rampant violence in our country of origin must be ended quickly before it consumes all our relatives and country’s men and women.
For the Diaspora to work together for peace, we in CASS call for all the peace loving members from all the 64 ethnic groups in South Sudan to:
- Join our membership
- Denounce the ongoing war and support peace
- Start or support the community –community dialogues.
- Work with Church groups and other peace based-organizations to advance the call for immediate end to the war
- Work collectively with American and Australian Peace Advocate groups
The voice of Diaspora is needed to bring durable peace to South Sudan. And you/I/we are the agents for that change to happen.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” Mahatma Gandhi
What a question, no South Sudanese diaspora is a beneficiary of those companies run, built, and operated by white man to produces weapons, supplies & financing of wars around the world including the one in South Sudan nor are they share holders of these companies with direct proceeds if I may exaggerate a bit.
Ofcourse the answer for all of the diaspora would be “peace”
….If it was that simple but unfortunately it is not.
On a smaller scale now there are groups and individuals in South Sudan that actually do or see benefits of war. Supporters of tribal hegemony benefitted from the massacres and the civil war to avoid South Sudan’s 2015 National Election and reducing the population of those they are certain to be a threat to such hegemony. I will leave to the imagination of the readers the irreparable damage this war and the massacres have cost and will continue to reflect on South Sudan and the ethnic Nuers as a community and or individually.
As I see it this group have a reason to see South Sudan ravaged by tribal wars, civil war, or a regional war because war is their excuse and the best ticket they have in holding on to their absolute, unchallenged, tyrannical, undemocratic, abusive power monopolized by ways of unspeakable violent, and violation of everything South Sudan.
Here it would be naïve for one to assumed that the diaspora holds a common believe of a unifying interest in the search for peace in South Sudan because the opposite is true.
The other factor is that within the same diaspora those who lost faith and truth on the ruling thugs, groups, the ethnic regime and the tribal minded SPLM/A leaders of the ruling party are more than willing to pick up arms and war, support war, or see war as the other available option in ridding themselves of the tyranny that have befallen their nation. This goes along with the saying that ” when there is a will, there is away” and if war makes way then they are willing to go it by war temporarily until war makes way for peace.
The question presented to the diaspora is good but there is no clear and short cuts to answering it if one was honest and well informed of the realities and the dynamic of the situation in South Sudan. Therefore with much understanding of the complexity and the delicacy of the situation, it would also be naïve again should one assumed the diaspora as taking a nonchalant approach in the search for peace in South Sudan.
Thank you brothers and sisters for your honest petition thought South Sudanese murdered by the country regime who pertains to forcedly reign.
As you worried of why there is no peace rather than war?
Our beloved nation’s community has been derived by the President whose he tried cleansing one ethnic tribes of Nuer and assigned his tribesmen to merely killed everyone in the hostages. However as you are Southern in diaspora you might need to have a colle
There is no choice if the enemy don’t accept peace than government have no other alternative or give in.
Shame on you Mr GUMUT, citizens of this country South Sudan on either side are not “enemies”. Some might be enemy of peace, unity, development, wealth sharing, social stability, fair leadership management in observations and rotation in the sense of the phrase due to personal self gains but none is an enemy in the absolute sense of the word as you flatly put it.
You are realy an idiot. Wasn’t one ethinic or tribe that were trying to cleansing?Then your president will answer that question when he no longer have a power to intimidate or kill civilians.
He is your president because majority before the so-called Hacker rebels of SPLM-IO in the government and in the army were Nuer. Nuer will be reduce in the Army.
AGUMUT, you are really stupid Dinka Barhalgezel who does not know any things in south sudan. your father Salva kirr without UPDF he would have been out from power. note that his days are numbered.
He’s of Bor Counties & of mentality of self righteous thus is sadly doomed like the boy that cries wolf & in vain. He has been on my radar for a while now.
Imagine if i am from Bor that means i can not sit in one county with Mabior Garang Mabior never.
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Please Agumut,let me tell you one think,the war that broke in south sudan is not dinka and nuer,it is Uganda,Egype,Rwanda,Jem,and Darfur,for what i know if it is Nuer and Dinka,dinka will not be in south vsudan now,prepar your self please your father will not be president.