The South Sudanese diaspora community have been urged to return home and use their skills to help progress the young nation.
The call was made by Twic East MP and chief whip in the South Sudan parliament, Atem Garang.
Garang was speaking on the occasion of Martyrs Day to the South Sudanese diaspora community in the Canadian city of Winnipeg, according to a report sent to the Sudan Tribune by South Sudanese residents in the city.
The Jonglei state MP was in Canada at the invitation of the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLA) Canada chapter and the Council of Sudanese Community (COSCOM) in Manitoba.
In his address, Garang urged South Sudanese in the diaspora to unite, embrace the spirit of unity and provide much needed professional skills for South Sudan to develop. Garang said these skills are currently lacking in the country.
He also advised the community in the diaspora to take pride in their country, asking them to desist from attacking each other on the basis of tribe on internet forums, particularly the readers’ comments section on the Sudan Tribune website. He added all tribes in South Sudan belong to the country and that all are equal as citizens.
The South Sudan official praised the community in Winnipeg for their unity and asked members of the disapora elsewhere to emulate their approach, saying such cooperation builds equality and progress.
Garang told the audience that South Sudan president Salva Kiir is committed to implementing reforms needed for South Sudan to make progress, saying the first step is to have a lean and technocratic government.
However he conceded the country is facing several challenges inherited from when the young nation attained independence from Sudan.
He pointed out that the lack of human capital, infrastructure, healthcare, capable civil servants, a strong education system and ongoing insecurity are some of the major issues facing the young nation.
He blamed the insecurity in some parts of the country on inter-communal conflicts and practices such as cattle raiding and the killing of innocent civilians.
Garang’s visit to Canada to speak to South Sudanese in the country was the third by a South Sudan official.
In 2011, SPLM deputy secretary-general Anna Ito visited Canada to address the South Sudanese community in in Calgary, while speaker of the national assembly James Wani travelled to Quebec earlier this year to speak to the diaspora community there.