31 October 2012

South Sudan: Thousands of South Sudanese Are Locked in U.S. Prisons

Juba — Over 3,000 South Sudanese are jailed in various US prisons across the country for allegedly breaking the laws of their new host country, reveals media official in the office of the Vice President.

Vice President's Press Secretary, James Gatdet Dak, told the Sudan Tribune that the recent visit of the Vice President, Riek Machar, to the United States of America had revealed the grave situation facing the citizens of the young nation abroad.

There are hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese citizens, some of whom have acquired dual US citizenship, and are residing in different states across the US. Some went as big families since early 1990s while others remain singles particularly those who later went as "lost boys" and girls.

Some are economically well off or have excelled in US higher learning institutions while others have become homeless and drug addicts.

Gatdet said during Machar's visit to a number of states with higher South Sudanese populations he was briefed on the situation by the community leaders as well as by the South Sudanese officials representing the new nation in Washington DC.

He said there are also requests for deportation of at least 4 South Sudanese every week, which the officials have to every time handle with the US government.

Following the gravity of the situation Machar directed the South Sudan embassy in the US to establish a special desk for the Diasporas so that their issues could be addressed effectively.

The Vice President, he added, also called on the South Sudanese in the US to be law abiding and focus on issues that will promote their welfare while in the US and contribute to the development of the new country.

He also met with the authorities in the states he had visited including in Omaha, Nebraska, which is one of the states with the highest South Sudanese populations. Machar had cordial meeting with the city mayor, Jim Suttle, who gave him the key to the city as a symbol of friendly relations with South Sudanese.

Gatdet further added that while in the US the Vice President met with US investors who expressed interest to invest in various sectors in South Sudan.

He said the Vice President on his return from the US expressed that there were signs of changing investment climate in the US toward South Sudan, saying the investors were keen to invest in railway lines, agriculture, oil pipelines and refineries, among many others.

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