Uganda Refugee Representatives Pay Homage to South Sudan National Dialogue

17th March 2018

South Sudan National DialogueLeaders of Adjumani refugee settlements, Northern Uganda, paid a rare visit to South Sudan National Dialogue headquarters on Friday in an emphatic plea for peace.

In November 2017, the National Dialogue sub-committee of Refugees and International Outreach visited Adjumani to consult with populations in Northern Uganda. In a reciprocal move, the refugee delegates decided to follow up with a courtesy call this week at the peace-making body’s headquarters in Juba.

Hon. Gabriel Yoal, the Deputy Co-Chair of the National Dialogue and various members of the leadership and chairpersons of sub-committees, received the delegation warmly at Freedom Hall.

Touched by the unusual gesture of the refugee representatives to travel from Uganda to South Sudan to consult with the National Dialogue at its premises, Hon. Gabriel described the initiative as “nationalistic move.”

Mr. Wilson Manyok Monylim, the head of the delegation of about 30 leaders, thanked the National Dialogue leadership for its cordial reception. He said that had come with “one mission, one agenda: We want peace. We’re peace messengers who have run to Uganda to seek refuge.”

On behalf of Adjumani Moyo & Lamwo refugee camps, Wilson said the cry of the South Sudanese in the camps is “for how long are we going to be refugees in Uganda? Can peace prevail so that we can return to our country?”

Leader after leader echoed the messages of peace at the function. Mr. Moses Nyang Aluel Akuei, the Secretary General, Refugee Welfare Council, read out a memo on behalf of the delegation. It reads:

“On behalf of South Sudanese refugees and on our own behalf, we’re privileged to take this opportunity to express and extend our heartfelt greetings from South Sudan refugees in Uganda and Northern Uganda in particular. Adjumani district refugee operation area is a home to a population of 559,475 (Adjumani Moyo & Lamwo) refugees out of 1,057, 809 South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.

Encouraged by the resilience of our people who remained in the country in the face of uncertain future at this trying times of our crisis, we bring you a word of hope which signifies that peace is attainable by all and for all South Sudanese.

Believing in the shared desire for peace and to care for fair treatment of people irrespective of the social, economic and political weight across the country, we South Sudan refugees in Uganda are united for peace and we convey our message of peace to our country men and women that “Let’s value less our origin than our destiny.”

Cognizant of the sacrifices and selfless contribution made by the leadership of National Dialogue committee [Refugees and International Outreach] to support the people of South Sudan in guiding them to rediscover themselves and find the direction that would lead to a national unity, you will be remembered in a history of South Sudan and we encourage you to continue with the same spirit. We strongly believe that peace can be restored back in South Sudan by South Sudanese through engagement of all levels starting from the grassroots to the top level, hence, we recommend your engagement to put more attention to the top level rather than foreign engagement.

We are proud of the government of South Sudan generous responses and reception in the spirit of brotherhood and a shared vision.

We are humbled by the opportunity accorded to us the refugees by members of the South Sudan National Dialogue subcommittee for Refugees and International Outreach during their visit last year.

We are pleased with the achievement and contribution of South Sudan National Dialogue committee in rising to the situation for the cause they can do best to spearhead a process, which is inclusive and transparent.

We the refugees make the following statement in relation to the importance of peace unity for a common purpose:

South Sudan has a population of 1057, 809 in the neighboring country of Uganda. This number lives based on temporary contract of five years, which will elapse in 2020. Mindful of the durable solutions to refugee problems, we will be left with no option but to choose among the three options either to voluntarily repatriate ourselves back home or seek for resettlement abroad or alternatively reintegrate into local community and become Ugandans. The question to our brothers, sisters in South Sudan is that, is it your wish for this population to become citizens of Uganda?

The right answer to this question is peace; we appeal to our fellow citizens not to sing peace as songs but to put it into action to guarantee our safe return back home, for all men and women good will to stand firm and contribute towards addressing our national crisis by cultivating seed of peace within the population of South Sudan at home and join hands with us in the Diaspora for a lasting peace.

Furthermore, we would like to express our deep concern and remind you that, the South Sudanese population in Uganda comprise of urban refugees, political refugees, psychological and economic refugees. Bringing such a population together is a task that needs our collective responsibility; hence put a pressure on us to engage all stakeholders in South Sudan not to forget their fellow citizens in exile.

We are blessed are refugee leaders in northern Uganda for this historic visit of delegation for it not happen in our stay in exile

Thank you for coming to share information on the concerns of South Sudan refugees in the peace processes. We would continue working for achievement of peace side by side with you until we see the good practices of peaceful co-existence in the spirit of loving and caring for one another while considering our diversities. “