Category: Opinions Written by The Nation Mirror Admin
By ADhiew Majok
South Sudanese politicians often have a severe case of ‘foot in mouth’ syndrome and much of it can be temporarily complained about and overlooked; but in the case of our vice president, it highlights a (pretty concerning) attitude some South Sudanese are holding; our ‘loyalty’ and level of ‘South Sudanese-ness’ is being brought into question because we are either dual citizens, living within the diaspora or ‘ran away’ after December 15th.
Our presence outside of our country and particularly outside of our continent was mostly involuntarily - most of us are here due to circumstances beyond our control.
After the CPA, people began going back home and more so after Independence - we (the diaspora) have not abandoned our country. Many of us still wish we could go back, but cannot go back home due to responsibilities in our current countries, or do not want to go home because much of our country is heavily neglected, and that makes for an uncomfortable and unpredictable life.
Should we also remind that war is not something fought just on the military front but is also fought politically and through the media? How else did the SPLA manage to get the equipment and support they needed to capture town after town, coming closer to the CPA? Surely because of their interactions and connections with the outside world?
For example, the SPLM understood maintaining connections with the outside world so had chapters outside of the country, which worked hard to maintain unity amongst South Sudanese and more. Are those who are part of the chapters, disloyal? Are South Sudanese in the diaspora disloyal, despite us having our community events, attending our families and friends’ weddings and engagements, and other celebrations?
If we are ‘disloyal’ for being dual citizens or leaving after December 15th, are they not disloyal for remaining and keeping our country at such a dire level since the signing of the CPA? Are they not disloyal for the neglect of veterans, the health care system, education (particularly girls’ education), prison system, national security etc.?
Are they not disloyal for taking money from the public coffers which somehow ends up in the hands of often unaccomplished, elitist relatives wanting to buy expensive apartments, clothing and cars because they feel ‘owed’ for their sacrifice?
What about the very ordinary, who gave their life for the war? What about those who fled and often haven’t seen their families for years and are forced to rebuild from the start? Did we all not sacrifice for this country? Being a refugee or in the diaspora is not as easy as it is portrayed, especially in the beginning!
Our road to independence was a collective effort. This incredibly active diaspora we have consistently highlight the problems back home, send money and resources to help families get educated or healthcare etc. which the government is largely failing to do.
The comment by Igga is unsurprising and have to really be brushed off. However, it really does make you question the role of the diaspora, and what more can the diaspora do for back home. Albeit we are not perfect, (but) to question our loyalty based on having dual citizenship is shocking and shortsighted.