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January 2, 2014

A Statement on South Sudan from Members of the Dinka and Nuer People Living in Diaspora

We are members the South Sudanese community in America, from both the Nuer and Dinka tribes.  Our message is for the leaders in South Sudan who are at this moment bringing self-destruction down on our nation.

We are the sons and daughters of the diaspora.  We have been refugees since we were children.  We are people who have been starved and killed and pursued.

We know through bitter experience and hard suffering how precious the innocent lives of our South Sudanese people are.   We have lost our friends and families to the malevolence of our enemies.

For years they murdered us.

Why are we now murdering each other?

For years they oppressed us and attempted to become our masters.

Why are we now oppressing each other and striving for power over each other?

Through the compassion of others we were rescued and brought to a place of safety, where we have worked hard to develop our skills, talents and professions.  We have made lives here for ourselves and our families.

But above everything else we are South Sudanese. We are one community. We are one nation.

Our deepest desire is to help our people of South Sudan, the country of our birth, the land we love so dearly.   Not as Dinka or Nuer or Shilluk or Acholi or people of one tribe or another, but as people of our one nation.

And now, YOU, the leaders that we and all South Sudanese have counted on to bring our nation to life.  Instead, you have brought us to the point where we are killing our own innocent people, our mothers and fathers, our old people and our children.

Our enemies were never able to break us apart.  They were never able to turn us away from our great cause of bringing our nation to life.  But what our enemies could never do to us, YOU are doing to us now.

And why have you brought us to this place of anguish and despair?  Where looting and killing and rampage are wrecking our towns and villages. Where innocent people are imprisoned, where so many have fled their villages and are desperately in need of food and water and safety.

Have you brought us to this place because you love power more than you love our people? Many think this is true. We pray they are wrong.

We understand the complexity of our politics.  We understand the conflict of interests.  But we also understand the need of human beings for safety and compassion.  We understand the need for restraint.  We understand that to be fully human is to be, simply, a decent person.

We want you, our leaders, to be simply—decent people.

We want you to stop the killing of innocents.  Immediately!

We want you to sit down together.  Immediately!

We want you to talk to each other.  We want you to do what is necessary to heal our wounds, without putting yourselves first.  We want you to find a way to save our nation.

We want to be proud of you, not to damn you.  The history books of South Sudan should be able to write you down as founders and builders.  Our children and their children should learn to revere you as the fathers of our country.  Not to think of you as those who have torn apart what our people have built and destroyed a nation that, after the hardest travail, was only just reborn.


David Acuoth – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Malual Awak, Chicago, Illinois

Kuol Awan, Phoenix, Arizona

Lual Baguoot, Boston Massachusetts

Biar D’Chol Biar, Rochester, New York

Deng Chol, Cambridge, Massachusetts

John Dau, Syracuse, New York

Dr. Isaac Gang, Austin, Texas

Dr. John Kuek, San Diego, California

Peter Magai Bul, Chicago, Illinois

A Ting Mayai, Madison, Wisconsin

Gabriel Majak, Louisville, Kentucky

Kathare Jock Mundit, Washington, D.C.

Jacob Puka, Maryland

Palath Thonchar, Rochester, New York

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