“We Can’t Be Refugees Again,” S. Sudanese Students In Kenya Decry
The South Sudanese Students studying in Kenya are concerned over the current border conflicts in their country and dared to down their pens and return home to defend their country if the issue escalates.
The SSSAK Vice Chairperson Mr. Lual Dau (Right) briefing the media in Nairobi [©Gurtong/ Job O. Mainye]
By Job Mainye
NAIROBI, 24th April 2012 [Gurtong]
The student’s fraternity led by their officials from the South Sudanese Students Association in Kenya (SSSAK) converged in a press conference at a Nairobi club to appeal to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), United States of America (USA), African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the East African Community (EAC) to intervene in the ongoing stalemate between South Sudan and Sudan.
The SSSAK Vice Chairperson Mr. Lual Dau who read a 5 page press release said that, “we are here in Kenya studying to acquire knowledge and to go back to our young country and help in rebuilding it to the levels of other countries.”
The students expressed their solidarity with President Salva Kiir and the entire South Sudanese leadership “for overcoming the euphoria of war and took the bold step to heed international community’s call to withdraw from Panthou (Heglig).”
They were dismayed by the silence of the international community now that the Sudanese Forces are advancing and attacking SPLA forces deep inside the south.
The press release highlighted a number of post secession disputes, the international diplomatic failure and facile moral and diplomatic equivocation. They challenged the United Kingdom and Egypt who jointly ruled the Sudan until January 1956 to enlighten the world where exactly Panthou (Heglig) is located in the border region of the two states.
Speaker after speaker, the students narrated how difficult life has been ever since they were born seeking refuge in a number of countries due to civil war. They attested to be ready to tell the world on the unfolding events and to politically correct the international perception on the disputed areas.
“As south Sudanese students in Kenya, if worse comes to worse, then we are more than ready to put down our pens and rush to our country and join the rest of South Sudanese in defending our country against Khartoum’s invasion. Thank God most of us were once solders...its better we all die if for this cause rather see our country taken,” the press release read.
The students recommended the following in order to avert the looming war;
1. That the Sudan Regime must unconditionally end all assaults on our soil and in all the border areas.
2. That the UN force be deployed in all contested areas including AByei and Panthou
3. That a buffer zone is created between the two countries and a neutral force is putting place until the border demarcation is complete
4. That Khartoum must be pressurised to get back to the negotiating table in Addis Ababa to resume negotiations
5. There must be immediate demarcation of the already agreed upon border areas under the international monitoring
6. Immediate end to the continuing illegal exploitation of natural resources in the disputed areas among other expectations
“To show solidarity with our people in South Sudan, am ready to leave college and join the struggle. Am not ready to be a refugee for the second time,” said Mr. Ajak Biar a communications student.
Mr. James Nyuol Majok who was born in Twic, Warrap State also said that he wasn’t ready to be a refugee again. Nyuol narrated to Gurtong how close the Sudanese Forces were to Bentiu, the capital of Unity State; he wasn’t ready to continue studying and his people were being killed.
The student names a number of leaders who abandoned their studies at Juba University during the civil war to join their statesmen in fighting for their rights. They reiterated their readiness to follow their example if need be.
Other SSSAK officials present included the secretary general Mr. Ker Ibino Kocrup, Mr. Dak Gabriel, Hope Alangi among others.
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