By Thudan Gai Majiok
September 17th,2014 (Nyamilepedia )-When I heard the news on the 16th September, 2014 about foreigners ceasing work in South Sudan, I paused to think whether the decision made was patriotic, coherent and sagacious. I asked myself whether this decision was really and thoroughly discussed in the council of ministers’ meeting and whether its repercussions were well calculated and whether the minister knew that UPDF and other allied forces were in South Sudan.
When I came to Kampala town on 18th September, 2014, I found that some very white papers, written “South Sudan expels foreigners” pinned on every street I passed through and I could hear Ugandans laughing and yapping “South Sudanese will see it if they expel our sons and daughters”. I could hear them (Ugandans) say “they have started again. This time they will regret it. It won’t be like the boda bodas’ issue”.
I could not continue moving around. I looked for a place to sit. I entered the Bamako Hotel. I ordered some snacks and sat quiet. Even without spending some much time (I could remember having stayed for only 5 minutes), a certain corpulent Ugandan walked to where I was sitting and said “Mr. Sudanese, how is Sudan, bring my money I left in Sudan?” I looked up at him. I could not say any word to him. A group of men behind me called him in Luganda. I guessed they were telling him to leave the “Sudanese” alone. He walked away and joined the team. They continued laughing and could stare at me as I was taking my snacks. I paid my bill and left for my lectures. I could hear them say (good that they said it in English) to the lady at the counter “don’t give him his balance”. I was given my balance and walked away.
During our lectures for ‘the State & the Economy’, South Sudan and its leadership was an example cited in the class. We (South Sudanese students in this class) were troubled and mortified. We wanted the lectures shortened. Some of us pretended to go for short calls but never returned. South Sudan became a laughing stalk throughout the lectures!
Another serious issue that also came across my eyes on 17th September, 2014, was Mwangi S. Kimenyi’s analysis and statement, which briefly reads “The decision by the government is clearly a stupid one. It lacks any sound basis, and it runs counter to any informed and developmental-minded leadership. Such a move reminds us of the action by the former dictator of Uganda, Idi Amin, who, early in his reign, expelled foreigners and even seized their investments.
The consequences of such actions—namely the collapse of the Ugandan private sector—are well-known, and it is quite surprising that a struggling economy would take actions that accelerate the downward spiral of economic growth and human development. Again, I say this is quite stupid on the part of the South Sudanese government”. I asked myself whether this would be seen an insult by minister Ngor or whether minister would require an apology like the drama we saw between president Kiir and IGAD’s Executive Secretary.
Mwangi S.Kimenyi’s analysis is proven by today’s ( 17th September, 2014) news that says “South Sudan has reversed its decision for IGAD member states”. That South Sudan would exempt Ugandans, Kenyans Somalis, Rwandans, Ethiopians, and Burundians from the order. Mr. Minister, in this case, who are the foreigners here? Did you mean the whites or the Arabs being foreigners? Who are these? You need to release another order because the one you released on 16th September has been spat on and does no longer carry any legal value.
In conclusion, this decision was actually meant to target foreigners and international organizations that have been vocal about abuses on South Sudanese nationals by government security agents. When the Nuer aid workers were killed in Maban by government aided militia, some international organizations and foreigners condemned the killings and asked them government to stop the ethnic-based killings countrywide. This was not received well by government.
When UNMISS Nuer workers were detained and their transport documents confiscated, foreign aid workers trooped the airport and the Nuer aid workers were rescued. This was not also liked by some government officials.
So, it is like these foreign aid workers and some international organizations have blockaded the government from executing their ethnic-based targets. What a drama!.
Mr. Minister, for God’s sake, where are you taking this nation? So, it is arrived at that your decision was not patriotic, coherent and sagacious. No decision that counters the interests of Uganda, Kenya and other allied countries will ever work in South Sudan. We are handcuffed and taken hostage if you do not know, Mr. Minister.
Author can be contact at firstname.lastname@example.org