The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of South Sudan to Benelux countries and the European Union (EU) last weekend emphasized the importance of unity among the South Sudanese diaspora.
Amb. Samuel Luate Lominsuk was speaking during a community gathering in the Dutch city of Utrecht organized by the South Sudanese Equatorian Community Association in the Netherlands (SSECAN).
“It is very important for me to see the community here because it has been a while since I have seen the South Sudanese community in the Netherlands. As the new ambassador to the Benelux countries, we must meet with South Sudanese to exchange ideas and also to see them. So, we are very glad to see you here tonight,” he said. “Whether you are now a Dutch citizen or still a South Sudanese citizen, the purpose of our visit is to ensure that you can project yourselves as a united group. We also wanted to tell the South Sudanese community in the Netherlands that it is not the embassy that is responsible here for South Sudanese. The citizens of South Sudan here are all responsible for South Sudan.”
“It is not their ambassador and it is not the staff at the embassy who are responsible for South Sudan alone,” Amb. Luate added.
He emphasized leveraging relationships with other Dutch citizens to invest in South Sudan.
“Get the investors back to South Sudan, work together with your friends, your colleagues here in this country, and make sure that investors here also look toward investing in South Sudan so that your input can be felt by citizens back home,” Luate said.
The ambassador said his office would like to see unity among South Sudanese diaspora in European countries.
“What is happening now is that there is peace in South Sudan. The government has come closer to the people and the people are with the government,” he said. “Therefore, if you are outside South Sudan, the message is clear that the unity of South Sudanese, regardless of whether you are at home or the diaspora, is paramount at this particular time.”
Meanwhile, Godfrey Lado, the chairman of the South Sudanese Equatorian Community Association in the Netherlands, said the event was important because it brought together the South Sudanese diaspora.
“Statistically close to 9,000 South Sudanese are living in the Netherlands. This event was an opportunity to bring together all the diversity of South Sudan to come together, get to know one another and interact,” he said. “After the 2013 conflict back home, the communities here separated and started regional-based organizations. It does not mean that we as a community of South Sudan cannot come together. We need to create an umbrella organization that can bring all South Sudanese together.”
“My message to the people back home and in the diaspora is that we must understand that we are living at a very advanced time technologically and the diaspora is a force that wants investments back home,” Lado added.
The Benelux Union or Benelux is a politico-economic and formal international intergovernmental cooperation of three neighboring states of Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
SSECAN was formed as a community association in 1996 to transcend ethnic and political differences among South Sudanese communities in the Netherlands while fostering unity among its members.