Friday, August 26, 2016

Last call: Submissions for Peace Journalist magazine
The deadline for submissions of peace and media themed articles for our magazine is Sept. 7. Scroll down to previous post that describes what/how to submit. Thank you.

South Sudanese journalist, family struggle in Uganda
My colleague/friend "Robert" and his nine family members have safely left the turmoil of their native South Sudan behind, and are working to start new lives in Uganda. (See previous posts below for more details). This is the latest dispatch from Robert, and it is disturbing, so much so that I have written to Ugandan friends in hopes that they can assist Robert and his family. I will keep you posted.

"Hi Steve,

Thanked God I have arrived  this afternoon 26/08/2016 in Kiryandongo Bweyale (in Uganda) after a long detention by the Ugandan police at the boarder point of Elegu between Elegu and Gulu in a place called Atiak since Thursday 25/08/2016 afternoon.

It was surprising to me as a refugee to be demanded 550 USD as border clearance fees for my nine family members whom you people have helped  to evacuate from the war torn country of South Sudan.

I was detained with the whole family the whole day on date 25/08/2016 and was threatened to be taken back to South Sudan not until i paid 1,320,000 UGX ($391) to the police who did not even write any document reflecting the amount of money paid to their office but only to released the family late evening making us to travel in the night yesterday.

On a sad note my mother has developed mental problems as a result of frustration and bulling that we experienced at the border, coupled with the situation we are in right now, In fact, it was beautiful when I received the money hoping to cater for many things, but now the situation has changed with all the but luck we have experienced. My mother is in poor health status as I write now... 

Today when I presented my family members to be reunited with me to get refugee status, people working in the office of the deputy camp commandant are demanding money. I truly do not know  how other journalists from this country of Ugandan can come in to help the situation? In fact it has now become worse in this refugee camp since on the first day I entered the camp. What I saw I could not be able to explain all thing here. otherwise Other South Sudanese have made their way back to South Sudan promising to go and die in their country with gun other than being undermined in this country."

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