In South Sudan, “foreign nationals are milking the cow they don’t feed.”

Posted: January 20, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

Foreign nationals took advantage of South Sudan ethnics’ conflict in labour market

By Noble Leek Goi, Jonglei State, South Sudan

Saturday, January 19, 2019 (PW) —- UN agencies and International NGOs are indirectly looting South Sudan in term of employment opportunities. Foreigners from neighboring countries like Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Congo and other countries have flooded UN agencies and International NGOs operating in South Sudan.

The positions taken up by those foreigners from the mentioned countries can well be handled by South Sudanese. Majority of South Sudanese studied in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, America, British etc. That means they have acquired the same knowledge like the nationals from those countries. And one would really wonder what makes South Sudanese graduates to linger on the streets of South Sudan while the foreigners are enjoying the Air Conditioned (A/C) rooms in South Sudan!!

This make the statement of late president of Uganda Idi Amin Dada true when he expelled the Asians from Uganda that, “They are milking the cow they don’t feed.” Indeed he was right, because Uganda was flooded by foreigners (Asians) who took wealth from Uganda and used it to develop their own countries, leaving Uganda and her nationals poor. Hence they were milking the cow they didn’t feed.The 1972 scenario of Uganda (economic war), apply to South Sudan today. Many foreigners received their dollars and use it for developing their own countries, leaving South Sudan and her nationals below the poverty line.

UN and International NGOs have created a language of employing foreigners. When they are advertising a position, they use the word, ‘ROVING’ or ‘SOUTH SUDAN’ against the position. This means, they are looking for a candidate who can travel or move freely in all South Sudan states, without any life threatening from nationals of any states.

Because, South Sudan conflict had made citizens to hate themselves along ethnics’ line, automatically, the right candidate would be a foreigner. This is how UN and NGOs have taken advantage of employing foreigners than the nationals. Currently, majority of managerial and other positions are advertised as ROVING or South Sudan, so that they can be taken up by foreigners.

However, I cannot blame the UN agencies and International NGOs so much, because we the South Sudanese are the cause of this tricky way of employing foreigners. Assuming we never hated ourselves, what would have poured foreigners as employers and employees in our country in such a big numbers? We are now suffering on the streets of Juba and other cities in South Sudan because of our own making. We are now facing consequences of the war we created in many angles.

As a matter of fact, the UN agencies and International NGOs are still exaggerating the level of ethnic conflict, so that they can continue employing foreigners. They say, “A Dinka cannot work in Nuer areas and Nuer cannot work in Dinka areas.” The only free citizens of South Sudan who have access to both Dinka and Nuer areas are those of Equatoria region and some of the areas within equatoria region neither Dinka nor Nuer cannot work there.

However, a Nuer can travel from Ayod or Wunror to Juba on land or water through Dinka areas of Duk, Tuic East and Bor without being killed. The same to Dinka business people, they go to Nuer land and conduct their businesses and they are not killed. One would wonder what kind of ethnic conflict are these UN agencies and NGOs are still talking about when peace had already been signed?

This is a trick of employing foreigners alone. It is the right time for the South Sudanese intellectuals to stand up and fight for their right to employment opportunities in their country in peacefully and professional ways. It is also the right time for them to educate their respective tribe mates not to discriminate a fellow South Sudanese, because South Sudan belong to us all regardless of our tribes.

The people of Maban went on strike because of this issue, though theirs was too violent which deserved condemnation of the highest order.

The Dinka and Nuer are the main victims of this scenario in South Sudan. It is time for the two biggest tribes to say enough is enough and accept one another to work in any locations regardless of the tribe. This is the only way we can eliminate foreigners’ influx into our country as employees.

In addition to that, most of the foreigners have forged their identities as South Sudanese, especially those from a shared tribes. There are tribes who are in South Sudan and they are in other neighboring countries too. They have South Sudan national IDs and even passports in the name of getting jobs.

They can only be identified through their academic documents. The identity in their academic documents is different from what is in their national IDs. You can find someone as Ugandan in academic document and he is a South Sudanese in national ID. You will wonder how did it happened.

This kind of forgery can only be controlled by ministry of labour and public services of South Sudan, by ordering the verification of citizenship of all the employees using their national IDs and academic documents. There we can know who is a forged South Sudanese and who is a real one.

Donald Trump’s idea of building the wall on Southern border is to control the influx of foreigners to United States of America. Therefore, to control foreigners’ employment in our country, we just need to build the bridges of peace, love and unity amongst the 64 tribes, so that the ethnic conflict don’t give room to foreigners to be employed.

The ministry of labour and public services of South Sudan should wake up in case if it existed. Every country in the world has restriction on foreigners’ employment, but do this also applies to South Sudan? Or the country is still young, to implement such laws that restrict employment of foreigners?

In Kenya visa, it is written, “registration is required for stay exceeding 90 days and Employment prohibited.” Why do you think employment is prohibited? In any country, employment of her own citizens is the priority, but I doubt if South Sudan knows this

That is why Donald Trump came with a slogan of “America First.” Why don’t we also say South Sudan first, instead of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Congo etc?

It is the responsibility of ministry of labour and public services to monitor and regulate the employment opportunities in the country.

Someone might be right to ask a question, whether our ministry of labour and public services is being headed by a foreigner or a national? Because, the way UN agencies and international NGOs are employing foreigners than the sons and daughters of the soil is really alarming and unbecoming. It might reach a yield point where citizens cannot tolerate it any longer.

The ministry of high education sends South Sudanese students for studies in foreign countries and afterward the ministry of labour and public services end up giving jobs to foreigners. What exactly is the reason of sending someone for studies and you again don’t give him a job?

Our ministry of labour and public services should really look into this issue of foreigners taking up jobs in South Sudan. This was why Dr. John Garang said, “You can’t be a second class citizens in your own country.” However, as far as employment is concern, we are the second class if not third class citizens.

Why did we fight for more than 21 years if our aim is to employ foreigners? We must do what other countries do. If they are denying foreigner’s employment like Kenya indicated in their transit visa, then, why shouldn’t we do the same? If they levy some taxes on foreigners who have officially acquired working permit, then, why shouldn’t we do the same?

South Sudan ministry of labour and public services should really do more research on how other countries’ ministries of labour and public services handle employment issues on foreigners and they copy and paste.

There is need for South Sudan workers’ union to wake up too if it existed. “The foreigners are milking the cow they don’t feed.”

The author, Noble Leek Goi, is a concern South Sudanese citizen and graduate of Bachelor of Engineering in Civil from NDEJJE UNIVERSITY, Kampala Uganda. E-mail:

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

  1. Kut Machar says:

    That’s a best article ever I came across my brother you have indeed told the truth UN and many other organizations has used South Sudan conflicts as excuse for employment to employed foreign people and leave out south Sudanese people vulnerable.It’s government responsibility to act before it too late now.


  2. John Mayen says:

    The population of young South Sudanese people who can be employed (working age) is 75% of the Nation’s – making South Sudan so rich in term of Human Resources. Add this to its employment opportunities (now being “milked by other nationals”) and its untapped natural resources, the country is super rich that by now it wouldn’t be in need of the UN or aids to feed its people but South Sudanese are very decent and patient people who endure this negligence – (from their own authorities should be protecting nation’s interesting) since 2005. When would the minister labour/human resource, laws/ policy-makers and of course the president and the entire government pay attention to their need of their people?


  3. kailoor says:

    Our ears have been forced to listen to nonsense and when right ideas like this one come, we allow it to depart unnoticed. What a positive argument? what a reasonable demand? please get a copy of this piece of writing and fasten it well at the entry of ministry of foreign public service, labor and human resource opposite to the public sign board where foreignness are milking this metaphoric cow under UN and NGOs in the very eyes of government who have the mandate of citizen protection.
    well though truth. Do I need to call up on xenophobic attack or should I wait a little longer?


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