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South Sudanese in Australia are victims of xenophobia

By Butrus Ajak

Melbourne, Australia, September 4, 2012 (SSNA) -- God, we deserve better than this. You have watched and heard the bitter mourned of your people yesterday (01-Sep-2012) at Melbourne city. You have heard women wailed that shook the city centre. You have seen the huge crowd turned-out all in black-suit at graveyard to pay homage to Erjok Manyiel Nai Achol Dengatho, popularly known as Giant E by his mates. You have seen the decease’s elder brother who nearly jumped into the grave seeing his life valueless without the Giant Erjok. You must have seen two young ladies who were about to jump into the grave too. You must have seen the young university colleagues of Giant E who refused to vacate the cemetery saying they can’t just walk away leaving Giant E in that lonely garden. It was a bitter grieve for South Sudanese community to lose such a boy. We are victims of xenophobia and nothing more God. Pay the slayers accordingly.   

Australia is not anymore what we yearned for. The nation turned out to be more inhumane just like the enemy we run away from, in Sudan. We aren’t safe here anymore. The Victoria Police appeared to have engaged in racial profiling, this raises serious questions and casts doubt about their impartiality about our safety. Who else shall we turn to God?  

Our youth are racially abused or pelted with wine bottles and eggs when they are seen moving around or when waiting at bus stops. They are abused with slurs including black monkeys, little niggers and chocolate bunnies. The Australian man, Clinton David Rintoull who murdered a south Sudanese teenager Liep Gony by beating him about the head with a metal pole has this to say “I am going to take my town back; I’m looking to kill the blacks.” We haven’t taken this nation; it is you who have taken it from Aboriginals, the possessors of this land.

Given all these negativity and stereotyping, we have been patience hoping for the better. It is just getting worse by day. Our kids have been disappearing mysteriously. The single case and painful one that I will address is that of Erjok Manyiel Achol, the Giant E:

It all happened on that fateful evening, the 8/08/2012 when doorbell rang and there appeared two policemen with shattering news. Erjok Manyiel Nai Achol is dead, they said. They were asked how, when, where, what and who killed him? They said he committed suicide, jumping down from twelve floor building. They continued, if you want more information call this number and they rushed off dodging some steep questions. They might have been thinking they are going to get away with it just like past cases they referred to suicide and community kept quiet.

The family and friends took the case seriously. They got a lawyer to help expedite in investigation. It wasn’t long to realise suicide wasn’t part of his death. He didn’t jump down the building, he was tortured to death. He suffered several fractures all over his body. It was deplorable those we trust to be law enforcement officers were the killers. It was nerve-racking police who are entrusted to keep order, killed Giant Erjok. His death shook the community and this prompt me to write this piece. I know it will not sit well with entire Australian community who want it secret, but it worth projecting the human right abused committed by law enforcement officers who have turned murderers.

Giant E was only 21 years old with bright future at his hand. He did enrol in one of the top prestigious university of Australia, the Swinburne University. His aspiration is cut-short and laid to rest by the scallywag and races policemen.

The thorn in the flesh which pained us all, his passing was kept secret as possible. He was never broadcasted or televised. It was entirely kept clandestine. If this isn’t injustice what is it then?

A woman who threw cat into dustbin was shown on the television for nearly a month. Why concealing Giant E demise? Where is the human right watch (HRW) that kept accusing African nations of gross human right violation? Is that not absolutely prejudiced in disguise? Our kids are murdered and later on, we told it is a suicide. This thing call suicide wasn’t part of our culture. What makes it an order of the day here raises more questions than answers. I call it racial elimination method, cover-up with suicidal rhetoric.

Those who go about saying Australia is an egalitarian society got it wrong. You can’t get terrorised in classless/egalitarian state, if egalitarian literally means what it really means. Our being is exceedingly threatened here, instead of killing our kids why can’t you deport them? The south Sudanese community have lost more than twelve (12) young lives to suicide and amongst them are: Abuya Agau Agoot aka Kon Agau, Deng Chol Deng, Dor Akei Achie, Awan Monykuer Awan, Mahona, Lul John Gilard and Latjor Ruach just to mention few apart from many other murder cases such as that of Liep Gony’s case.

As I write, there still no an accountability yet apart from suicide pretext regardless of satellite and CCTV cameras we have at disposal. Nobody dares to show us footages exactly how each child passed despite our badgering enquires.

We thought we were part of an Australian society. We pay tax to the government like any other Aussie. Our youth have joined police and the army to protect this nation from aggressive neighbours. Why are we segregated and treated as outsiders anymore? What part of integration are we lacking?

Finally, it is time for Human Right Watch (HRW) to come to our rescue. We want Giant E to be the last and the last child to die in such horrible, races, ruthless and inhumane death in Australia here. I ask God of our fathers to pour his wrath to those who laid their hands on his body. We aren’t aboriginal whose children are killed with impunity and forced to live a third world’s life in the first World country. We have home, the south Sudan. We only ventured this far seeking better education and safe live for our kids; if this is what it is, then it makes no difference. We are pushed to live a paranoid life in a country we call home. Racial profiling trashes all our hopes. I pen-off here as my voice lump up with sullenness.

REST IN PEACE GIANT ERJOK your slayers will follow you sooner or later.

By Butrus Ajak, he is a concerned South Sudanese-Australian. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   

References:

Racist pole murder: 20-year term upheld, http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/racist-pole-murder-20year-term-upheld-20110823-1j7tj.html

Racial profiling is part of the problem, not a solution Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/racial-profiling-is-part-of-the-problem-not-a-solution-20110512-1ekl7.html#ixzz25MfM8U00

Victorian Police accused of racially profiling the Sudanese Community, http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/blogs/asiarights/2011/05/04/victorian-police-accused-of-racially-profiling-the-sudanese-community/

African youth crime concern, http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/african-youth-crime-concern-20120819-24glt.html

Sudanese appeal over racial attack, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-19/sudanese-appeal-for-attack-victims-to-come-forward/3782012

Sudanese youth feel sharp end of racism, http://www.theage.com.au/national/sudanese-youth-feel-sharp-end-of-racism-20081217-6zxi.html

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