Threat by Juba to expel foreign workers may be myopic, but isn’t surprising

By DANIEL K. KALINAKI, Daily Nation, SEPT/19/2014, SSN;

The threat by the Government of South Sudan to expel foreign workers is disappointing but not surprising.

Not surprising, because this is the third time in three years that authorities in Juba are threatening to expel expatriates. Although the government appears to have pulled back on its threat, who is to say when the next such edict will be issued?

Disappointing, because it is a dark reminder of how far GOSS has to go to learn the art of statecraft, and how vulnerable the process of nation-building in the country remains to populist politics and tunnel vision.

We can only assume that GOSS wants the best for its people. One can understand the frustration of fighting for independence for almost three decades only for it to arrive without jobs or basic services like health and education for the citizens.

It is a problem most newly-independent states encounter, and one that many in Africa continue to struggle with 50 years later. It appears that South Sudan is tempted to follow the disastrous route of Idi Amin in Uganda where, in trying to redress the genuine economic imbalance, the military regime destroyed the economy in a maddening stampede of xenophobia.

For all its imperfections, the Black Economic Empowerment programme in South Africa offers a better model for South Sudan to emulate. For it to work, however, the rulers of South Sudan are going to have to do something they haven’t done in many years – lead their people and invest in them.

When autonomy, and later independence, came to South Sudan, the leaders of SPLA/M had so much goodwill from the rest of the world and enough examples of countries in Africa whose paths to steer clear of, with their thorny bushes of tribalism, corruption, nepotism, greed and impunity.

Yet far from charting a new course, independence and the new streams of money brought a frenzy of consumption as generals locked horns with generals at the feeding trough, grabbing as much as they could so that they could buy houses in Nairobi and Kampala and take holidays in Dubai.

Corruption is inherently inefficient and before long, the contest between those who were eating and those who wanted a turn at the trough had forced a contest within the SPLA/M that broke out into civil war last December.

POWER SHARING AGREEMENT

To lead the people it rules, GOSS has to first deal with its structural problems. First, it must demilitarise the fight within the SPLA/M by fully implementing the cessation of hostilities agreement and instituting a power-sharing agreement to bring the warring parties back under one tent.

GOSS must then deal with the corruption and impunity among its senior political and military ranks that is undermining, not just its unity, but also its ability to deliver basic services to its citizens.

South Sudan’s per capita income of $1,800 hides a few hard truths: one in two people live on less than a dollar a day; half the population is malnourished; and the country is the second most-dangerous place for women to have babies.

It is all very well to ask companies to employ local staff. Even the most hard-nosed businessman will tell you its benefits; local staff are cheaper and bring valuable local knowledge.

However, this can’t happen overnight. Many young South Sudanese are frustrated at the lack of opportunity, and rightly so, but most of them do not have any skills or formal education thanks to the legacy of war. This is a country where three out of four people can’t read or write.

These angry young men need skills and training for which more investment must be made in education and apprenticeships.

Yet in its budget for last year – before the fighting broke out – GOSS planned to spend 57 per cent on security and less than one per cent on agriculture and job-creation. GOSS did not build a single school using its own money in the first two years of independence, critics allege.

South Sudan needs investment, skills, and support from the rest of the world, not populist politics and dangerous xenophobia. Those in power should know this, seeing as the country is precariously held together by Ugandan troops.

In Summary
To lead the people it rules, GOSS has to first deal with its structural problems. First, it must demilitarise the fight within the SPLA/M by fully implementing the cessation of hostilities agreement and instituting a power-sharing agreement to bring the warring parties back under one tent.
Yet far from charting a new course, independence and the new streams of money brought a frenzy of consumption as generals locked horns with generals at the feeding trough, grabbing as much as they could so that they could buy houses in Nairobi and Kampala and take holidays in Dubai.
For all its imperfections, the Black Economic Empowerment programme in South Africa offers a better model for South Sudan to emulate. For it to work, however, the rulers of South Sudan are going to have to do something they haven’t done in many years – lead their people and invest in them.

Mr Kalinaki is managing editor for regional content at Nation Media Group.
Twitter: @kalinaki

38 Comments

  1. Ayuen Makol says:

    The problem is; most of the foreign workers are highly skilled and do expertise jobs and if they are all replace by locals; then it’s going to be very hard; are the locals enough to cover all the highly skillful jobs?
    I am not saying there aren’t professional locals; there are; but they are not that many to cover all the positions needed to be filled if there are any created by this government. Just because you need a job; it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be that easy to handle!
    The real problem with the government is; it hasn’t created enough low level job opportunities for the local population; because the government officials are busy filling up their secrete banks accounts overseas in expense of the poor South Sudanese people.
    The money hidden overseas in secretes bank accounts should have been deposited within 10 States of South Sudan for local business people to borrow and use it to create employment for the locals in those particulars states. That’s how development is created through people.
    I often said there is no money in government leadership salaries unless it’s a corrupted government as the government of South Sudan where there are no laws that hold leaders or people accountable for wrong doing or corruption. If anyone wants to be wealthy; he or she should be businessmen!

    • AJ says:

      Slowly and surely the death is almost at the door step and kiir will sleep with whisky on his bed to make him forget pressure from countries he expel particularly Uganda and Kenya.

      AJ

  2. monychol says:

    Exactly that is a clear confirmation of what we have been saying all along that this government is led by nobody but bunches of drunkards who take decisions based on emotions and not a well thought out decissions.

  3. AW Joseph says:

    Thank you Labour Minister, Ngol Kolong for getting back our country. Our country is being used as a dumping ground for Thieves, murderers, Robbers, Corrupt, unqualified and incompetent aliens in the name of integration into the useless EAC. Go away East Africa Community. We are better off without you. Better we integrate with North Sudan.

  4. what a man? just as usual, said one thing today and another thing tomorrow. This is like Panthou episode and dissolution of SPLM PARTY ORGANS, till now people of S. Sudan don’t know what to believe. Nothing our people will listen to now as long as it come out of kiir’s mouth. There are a lot of S. Sudanese(high educated) lingering around in Juba and around East Africa without jobs. I believed a responsible Government should hire all its’ capable citizens then offer the left over jobs to foreigners. fair and simple!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Chier says:

    Like what positions do you think South Sudanese cannot manage, ya Ayuen Makol?

  6. Bismark says:

    The primary responsibility of any government on earth is to ensure that the security of the people and their property within and out of the borders of the country are guaranteed. That means jobs, land and the other natural resources fall under that category. It is therefore imperative that South Sudanese are considered for job opportunities first before other factors are taken into consideration. South Sudan government is doing that and that is right. Jobs must be given to South Sudanese before non citizens can be considered for the same opportunities. No country on earth can accept the jobs of its citizens to be raided by aliens unless there is a sound reason for that. South Sudan had a working goverment from 1972 upto 1983. During this period of time South Sudan ran the affairs of the nation with minimum assistance from elsewhere. There is no doubt South Sudan can do even better if peace, freedom and democracy in its real sense get firmly implanted in the country. The government should not change policies based on foreign designs. The government should always make decisions on what is best for South Sudanese interests. After all our loved ones laid their lives for the betterment of the people and South Sudan. Our leaders must desist in listening to economic vultures who have swarmed South Sudan to loot the wealth of the people and live them in abject poverty.

    FROM EDITOR:
    MR. BISMARK, ACTUALLY, THE ECONOMIC VULTURES YOU ARE CASTIGATING DIDN’T FLY TO SOUTH SUDAN IN 2005 ON THEIR OWN VOLUTION. REMEMBER, AFTER THE CPA AND WITH THE INPUT OF BILLIONS OF OIL DOLLARS, THE SPLM LEADERS ‘SWARMED’ THE CORRIDORS OF NAIROBI LOOKING FOR THOSE VULTURES TO COME TO JUBA AND HELP THEM TO LOOT THE MONEY WHICH HAD TO BE REPATRIATED TO NAIROBI AND ABROAD VIA THESE BANKS AND FAKED BUSINESSES.
    IN THIS CURRENT DIPLOMATIC FIASCO, KENYA ALONE CALLED PRES. KIIR AND IMMEDIATELY KIIR WOKE UP FROM HIS JOHNNY WALKER SLUMBER AND CANCELLED LABOR MINISTER NGOR’S DECREE.
    THE PUZZLING QUESTION IS DID THE KIIR’S CABINET NOT DEBATE AND DELIBERATE ON THESE DECREES BEFORE MINISTER NGOR WENT TO THE PRESS AND ANNOUNCED THEM?

  7. Kenyi Alex says:

    The Lust by WEWES for our resources will always make them misinterpret our policies for their benefits.
    Yesterday, a Country Director in Our NGO a Kenyan said; All the positions of Kenyans and other Foreigners in the NGO are unaffected. Beacuse the job tittle listed in the circular are not the ones we have.

    But, for how long will foreigners be in this Country? Do we need cooks, drivers, mechanics, Officers to come from Other Countries? What they do is to complicate the job tittles to allow them get Work Permits; For, example, Accountant is called; Finance Manager, Finance Director, Fianace associate…or a casier is called Finance Officer or Finance Assistant.
    So South Sudan School is no more a requirement for Getting jobs this days but, Masters, Degrees…
    Just go ahead Mr. Ngor.

  8. pitya lo tongun says:

    the order in it’s initials was not intended to be implemented but only to send a very clear message to the world at large and more specifically to the east African country, if you guys compromise my position and kingdom for peace and tranquility in south sudan, this is what i will do, i will send back your people to cause havoc in your own kingdoms.i believe the message have already reached to it’s intended owners and i hope they have given their feedback, that’s why the entire thing is now retrieve.

  9. Lavina Lual says:

    Why would foreigners occupied even basic and simple positions like drivers and administration (HR, Operations, Finance, Support Services) as is happening in UN WHO?.

    There should be no reverse to this decree!

    FROM EDITOR: THE PROBLEM, LAVINA, IS PRES. KIIR.
    YOU SEE KENYA VERY EASILY BLACKMAILED KIIR ON IMPORTANT AND
    PERSONAL ISSUES SUCH AS:
    1- ALL KIIR’S LOOTED MONEY IS IN KENYA
    2- KIIR’S FAMILY IS LAVISHLY LIVING IN NAIROBI IN PALATIAL BUILDINGS.
    3- KENYA HAS THE DOSSIERS OF ALL THE CORRUPT SPLM/A PEOPLE HIDING BILLIONS OF STOLEN
    SOUTH SUDANESE MONIES.
    4- KENYA LITERALLY HOLDS KIIR BY THE BALLS (excuse the expression) MEANING KENYA CAN SWIFTLY SWITCH ITS SUPPORT TO DR. MACHAR, SOMETHING MANY KENYANS NOW BELIEVE IS A BETTER ALTERNATIVE.
    5- NOW ETHIOPIA, KENYA AND UGANDA WILL SURELY AND SURREPTITIOUSLY GANG UP TOGETHER AND WORK TO OVERTHROW KIIR’S GOVERNMENT.
    WHAT A BLESSING BROUGHT INADVERTENTLY BY KIIR’S OWN STUPIDITY.

    • AGUMUT says:

      Riek Machar will end up hiding like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

    • J.Chin Jacob says:

      Dear Editor,
      Can you believe now that you are the most stupid foreigner than President who wants his fellow South Sudanese to enjoys the fruits of their sweats and that is why i always labels you as an evil doer in South Sudan because you don’t have a heart or spirit to appreciates the effort made by your countrymate simply because the proposer happens to be a Dinka, what a tribalist editor!

      FROM EDITOR:
      WOOOOOOH!!!! THAT’S THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS AND EXTREMIST CHARACTERIZATION WHICH IS UTTERLY ERRONEOUS. BEING ANTI-KIIR AND ANTI-WANI IGGA SURELY CAN’T MAKE SOMEONE A TRIBALIST.
      LET’S COOL DOWN, MY DEAR COUNTRY MATE.
      BEST REGARDS.

    • Lavina Lual says:

      I agree with you Mr Editor but until when are we going to continue giving inn and pampering foreigners in this country at the expenses of our masses. How many South Sudanese are working in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Eritrea, etc. The Labor Laws of all countries are crystal clear such that in Kenya the common labor law is; “what a Kenyan cannot do a foreigner must do”.

      After the decree was released I understand M7 threatened to pull out the UPDF and this is the whole game some of our brothers are defending here. They do want people to know that M7 has threatened to pull out the UPDF if the decree is implemented and this forced Marial and the rest to withdraw the desicion after the Ugandan delegation me them.

  10. SONIC says:

    Hello guys you need to know one thing, South Sudan is independent state including her populations thus for that matter in case of any decision made by them should be of importance to her citizens not to be disregarded by non citizens likewise when we are in foreigner countries we don’t foot step into your affairs. Never hijack our government officials due to the decision the have made in favor of their citizens, stop adding abusive words like stupid it’s for those who have not got to school and nevertheless you the so called foreigners have really looted our own country before us especially Kenyans so please and please respects your dignity.

  11. Wani Adalla says:

    I wonder why there is too much panic following the Public Service order. The intention is not to chase the foreigners but to have South Sudanese access to the jobs at their levels. Those that South Sudanese can not meet can to the foreigners. So let us misunderstand and wrongly interpret the order. This happens in all the countries.

    • Lavina Lual says:

      You are very right uncle Wani this is how I understand too. Actually foreigners can stay lin South Sudan ike South Sudanese in foriegn lands but the jobs should be given to South Sudanese except for the jobs we cannot do then the foreigners can do like in all countries.

  12. Deng Ajak says:

    Foreign traders are not the problem. Our problem is Dr. Riek the Evil. We must crash him and his forces. After all we have good number of Nuer in the government who don’t like him. We can use the foreign traders to control some portion of land in our colonise in Equatoria. This will help to add foreign voices to our right to live anywhere in the country. Dr. Riek don’t like foreigners in our country, he think he could fight to switch our agenda to benefit the Nuer. He know how colonising every tribes in South Sudan benefited us. He know how we are respected in the country and abroad. Some evil in Equatoria like Clement Wani Konga and governor of Western Equatoria must be brought on their knees before its late. There are more Equatorians Evil and they must be tackle one by one. For they are opposed to foreign investors and they wanted our colonises to collapse. They are encouraging Dr. Riek to stay in the bush just because they want federal government he promised to them.
    Deng Ajak
    Juba

    • Eli says:

      Deng Ajak another dinka idiot

    • Achiek Ajak says:

      Deng Ajak is another cry baby equatoria’s wolf in sheep’s clothing! It look like it’s a better alternative to federalism campaign and that’s funny and sad at the same time!

    • Long Ranger says:

      If you have nothing to write never write at all. You are a disgrace. People are talking about issues of national interest you are going tribal. What a super a idiocy!!!

    • Lavina Lual says:

      What brought the name of Dr Riek on the issue of RSS decree from the National Ministry of Labor?.

      Is it Dr Riek who issued the decree or he is the one who turn down the decree??, are you a sort of the so call sub human so that it is difficult to differenciate citizen’s rights issues from mere jienge politics in the RSS?

      May the God of Abraham sends you together with the devli worshiper into his cancer grave soon because there is no way you guys will be continuing selling out our country and allow it to be dictated by foreigners just tokeep your ugly faces in power.

  13. Aguer Kezekiah Chol says:

    The decision though rescinded, was a good decision however much they would want to describe South Sudanese and government decisions. Terming South Sudanese as stupid implicates one to be fool as well. Some countries like Kenya found their development foundation laid earlier by their colonies and the way Kenya a appears today in terms of human resource and infrastructure took them not less than forty years. Today, you can not expect a South Sudanese to reach that level without necessarily allowing them to work on their own because work is experience. Whilst in Kenya, my visa is holding a word ”EMPLOYMENT PROHIBITED”. Now, who is a sub-human in this region to be intimidated? The government did it not to hate anybody, but as a common interest of every government to see into it that its population gets employment. Others fears that if this decision is implemented, joining EAC would be difficult. I want to inform you here that the idea by the government to let South Sudan joint East African blog is widely opposed by South Sudanese citizens, except those in the government. So, it is an imposed venture which you can hardly find South Sudanese enjoying. The notion that South Sudanese lacks capacity is a misplaced assertion as well. It is always embodied in foreign reports to justify their monopoly of South Sudan. South Sudanese were not created today after the whole world was created. People have been working in various governments in the united Sudan and gained experiences that they can today use to impact on other compatriots. The country is also capable of hiring expertise anywhere including East Africa to Train South Sudanese where necessary, and not to just keep individuals to work for themselves where they are not suppose to be. Removing Salva Kiir from power is not the best way to solve this row because every other government would want to let its citizens feels good. I regret this decision being rescinded because of fear of what others what say and do to the country, and if rescinded, when shall these reforms start? Mmmmm…my people! Stop being intimidated, blackmailed and despised by others, even when you are doing the right thing commonly done by those threatening you.

    • Lavina Lual says:

      My simple understanding is that before the decree is issued; prior consultations could have been made earlier; meaning Kiir and the cronies are aware of it before it was sent out to the public.

      Why would our basic citizen’s right for employement be sold out to foriegners just to keep blood thirsty hooligans in power when M7 threatened to pull out the UPDF after the decree was issued?

      Once again no one wants to see your ugly faces in our midst anymore, your presence have done more distasters compare to Arab and English regimes in Sudan. It is time you go to the human zoo or “may God rest your souls in eternal peace in cancer graves soon” Amen!

  14. AGUMUT says:

    There is no TASTE in a bloody Blended Whisky,it is Forty Per cent (40%)Alcohol and like a GAS. Now he looks very very hot and SWEATY,money and position never make happiness for everybody.Sport,Ran,walk and exercised.

  15. Jbulldozer says:

    Look let us be realistic here coz s.sudan is an independent country which have the right to expel any foreigner who are not abiding by the labour law of south which reserve a certain percentage of positions in private sector to the national and we south sudanese have alots of graduate who will take these positions and the others positions will be left a foreingners but if their leaders threatening us with warning then they act like a bad neigbour who want to benefit from ur country wihout us benefit from them and that is not the case in the south either we all benefited or lost.

    • AGUMUT says:

      South Sudan need Foreign workers in future,but they have to control foreign workers like what Gulf States countries doing.Workers are not allow to bring their familes into the country unless their salaries are $1500 per month.

  16. Dear all,

    Why and why one country in the world got vexed on South Sudan government action on expulsion of foreign workers in the country??What the foreign minister of Uganda Mr.Amama Mbabazi,had said,is now very true! The South Sudan government in the country,is now rule by Uganda.I really do not want his way he had said when he said,if the South Sudan exorcizing the Ugandan workers,they will do the same to South Sudanese living in Uganda.Again,he had said,Uganda troops will be taken back in the South in the country from being fight the rebels in the South Sudan against the rebel leader in the bush Mr.Riak Machar in order to stop the deal the Uganda government had signed with the government in the South Sudan in the country.

    There are foreign workers include.They have not said anything yet to the South Sudan.There is nothing very important in Uganda at all in front of God! Let the South Sudan go ahead to implement the orders of the government without any remorse!There is no worry on Uganda government! Let our people in Uganda come home to live in a better place in the homeland! Uganda is a FILTHY PLACE TO LIVE AND THEIR PEOPLE IN GENERAL! THEY ARE SUBHUMANS.THEY ARE TOO INFERIOR!!

    Our freedom fighters,they were fighting to stay a better living in the homeland in Sudan!They did not fight for LOOTERS in outlands! I support the action of a labour minister Mr.Ngor Kolong he took! Thank you all in the forum!

    Missouri,USA

    • Eli says:

      Chief Abiko,
      In the first place your English skill is very poor, you really need some language course because individuals like you are a shame to South Sudanese if you indeed are one. I am just wondering. Are you a mundukuru or you are a confused wannabe black Nazi or kkk or a byproduct of apartheid? In this day in age calling others subhuman or inferior is a thing of the past the colonial racist regimes used to describe those under their colonies, there’s no more colonial system left, not even the Scottish people, they’re a union.
      Especially if you are from Otuho tribe I really am ashamed by you. I grew up in Torit and Otuho people are honorable and respectful of others.
      I too have grudges about Museveni’s interference in our national internal affairs, but that feeling of disgust and hatred should be directed towards dictators like Museveni and Salva Kirr. Those Ugandans in South Sudan are invited by president Kirr and they take advantage of our ignoramus behaviors.
      Have you heard about the saying that goes; “you snooze you lose”? Also remember whenever you point one finger at others three are pointing back to you.
      Chief, you need to grow up.

    • Blood sucker says:

      Chief Abiko,

      It looks like people don’t speak English anymore in Missouri, USA. You better stay where you are and don’t even think of coming back to SS with that unpolished rubbish English.

  17. Long Ranger says:

    Anger is slowing taking it’s toll on us nationals get out before you fall a victim of the people you Gold diggers

  18. John Deng says:

    I think the decision to rescinded and revert back the decision is right in this debate. Though others may think differently as that ‘this is the normal way of doing things in South Sudan’, That would be unwise and unthinkable thinking!. The government of any country has right to develop and degree policies as long as it protect the rights and interests of it citizen. Moreover, East African Countries and region should not take it an opportunity to criticize South Sudan government as this also implicate what they are doing in their motherly countries. Kenya is not exception here as I don’t think we had many South Sudanese in Kenya Market Industries.

  19. william says:

    there is no problems with foreigners working in juba or else where in south the main problems is the riak and his idiot supporters who do not want to obey to cessation of hostilities agreement

  20. Johnson, says:

    I read the opinion article of this guy in The Daily Nation of Kenya and it left me disgusted. South Sudanese are not like Kenyans who believe in taking things in and just move on.

  21. AGUMUT says:

    This website is 100% CENSORS,Bravo and job well done.

  22. AGUMUT says:

    WOW a Palatial and DIRTY POLITICAN, President Kiir used to live in a very bad Shanty suburb Town of Nairobi in which i have no name.

  23. Roy says:

    Daniel,

    Al tough you did touch some right buttons in regards to Corruption, and the struggle for unlimited access to the national cake, you are totally wrong in reference to our literacy rates and expertise your foreigners provide.
    Well any country needs some experts in one way or the other but what we are seeing here are not only experts, we are being constantly invaded by savages from Kenya and Uganda running away from economic hardships back home. How do you justify the domination in the hospitality industry and low level officers in NGOs and private sector when we have enough qualified Human resource in the streets. Well, the order may be premature, not well thought but the die is cast and I am sure the people will take it from here. watch this space

  24. Alier-kon says:

    Dear Editor.
    today it appear that you are pretend all the time to be some body who is not supported any related to politic and tribalism on this web but now I have seen the way you comments above the articles is total different things that you wanted to tell us.
    my friends for your your information we know were you are and I warn you with such behavior will not help you.
    come out as I know you are supporting Riek machar as this web belong to Nuer who supported the evil man and do whatever you want do enemies of peace in South Sudan, I was liberated with out you in 2 decade when you were joined Khartoum and there was nothing affected us in it cost.
    now you repeated it again by killing so many people in their home as ethnicity targeted and it will not make you success to rule this country as you are hopeless community who have no base to build your son as future leader rather than enforce it to be head of state by force or coup attempt which is not exist in this modern world.
    Alier-kon

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