South Sudanese Diaspora is not a threat but an asset

By Eng. Chuar Juet Jock

Oct 31, 2014

The perception of some South Sudanese leaders towards diaspora South Sudanese is fundamentally wrong and hurting the country real badly. Such perception and concepts culminated recently by VP Wani Igga statement about possibility of banning dual citizenship and accusing the diaspora of lack of patriotism are another attempt to sidelines an important asset of skilled human resources the country could benefits from if it find the friendly and understanding leadership.

I wish our leaders could have resend their minds back a little bit and recall how did the hundreds of thousands South Sudanese became refugees in foreign lands in the first place, I wish they could just imagine the bitter struggle the diasporas have endured to finally settled themselves in a highly demanding skilled and advanced societies of Western world, I wish they could honestly acknowledge the huge financial and political contribution the diaspora has offered before South Sudan came to light as an independent country.

Just like the current dilemma, the mass exodus of South Sudanese to foreign lands has started with the conflict within the SPLM/A itself. After the tribal split of 1991 that has pitted the liberation movement against itself and the noble cause of South Sudanese people was strayed from its right direction, many have chosen refuge instead of taking part in inter-tribal fighting and self destruction and in that regards, the South Sudanese were not only facing the Khartoum regime as the sole enemy but also the many tribal factions of SPLM/A , from SPLM/A – United to Nasir to Torit faction in which the then Major Wani Igga was a member of command .

No one in his/her right mind can deny the huge contribution of South Sudanese diaspora both in political lobbying, mobilization, and support to the cause of our people nor its huge financial contribution in supporting our suffering refugees in east African countries and back home if it isn’t for cheap politics consumption and greedy opportunism. Our constant constructive criticism to the leadership of the country is based on our love for our country and out of experiences and education we have seen and gained in the advanced societies we have adhered to, we don’t say all we say is the absolute truth or that few of them are out of touch but those are our opinions and that’s what democracy is all about.

All in all the diaspora has always been seen as unpatriotic and a threat in the local jobs market and not an important asset that can be used for development and uplifting of the newly born country and as example, those who made it home just after independence to contribute with their much needed skills and education has faced enormous challenges finding jobs and integrating themselves back to society and the SPLM/A established system of we have fought the war and it is us who should lead and privileged. However, South Sudan independence was not a result of military victory rather than a collective political mobilization campaign by all South Sudanese, home and aboard.

The diasporas were always seen as opportunists or jobs grabbers and aliens in their owner country. foreigners who didn’t invest or saved a shilling inside the country were favored and hired instead. Such perceptions won’t produce any good at all if we have to use everyone for development of this country. The land is vast, the riches are diverse and enormous, it is a hit of ignorance and greed to hate and marginalize anyone, clan or tribe but some are still deep into it, unfortunately.

The expectations were that, the leadership of the newly independent country will definitely renders, attracts and use the various diaspora skilled human resources in its development projects and capacity building rather than waging a war of jealously and selfish greed towards diaspora and this is simply where things went wrong. I am not here saying everyone from diaspora who went home right after independence were there to help the country rather than to milk the new cow in a corrupted manner but after all it is the government that must ensures that the cow is being milked right by anyone and not only diaspora.

Nothing but love between the diaspora and South Sudan and those who fall short about getting deep on understanding that they should look around and quell their own very reasons on why they would denies such a great country the benefits of its diaspora skilled and educated sons and daughters. While It is bad and damaging to the country, it is not a surprise at all because if it wasn’t selfishness and greed of the few, this fire that is burning us now won’t start at first place, let us be honest.

Eng. Chuar Juet Jock

Written Orginally on Oct 31, 2014

Author of the “In a Nutshell” Book Series

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