SOUTH Sudanese couple Alma and Martin Ettore from Pimmcroft Way, Sale Moor, are so sickened by the political fighting in their homeland that they plan to start an online petition requesting immediate changes to the system of government.
Alma said: “It’s become tribal - it’s like the Manchester United manager falling out with the Manchester City manager and the fans fighting each other.”
The Dinka members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, led by President Salva Kiir, are attacking members of the sacked Vice-President’s tribe, the Nuer, and vice-versa.
Alma, who has lived here since 1990, said: “My husband’s cousin in Juba told us there were bodies in the street and at the hospital. They had to dig a mass grave.”
She worries about her younger brother, Odon, who, at 51 is six years younger than her and works as a nurse there.
“He looks after people from the government side. He hasn’t been ordered to fight the rebels yet but he could lose his job at any time.
“If the other tribes join in, it will be catastrophic.
“Martin and I are from the Madi and Zande tribes. Members of our tribes are treated badly. My brother-in-law, a graduate, can’t get work.”
South Sudan has only been an independent country since 2011. “We were euphoric at the time,” said Alma.
Despite the fighting, the couple plan to move into a newly built house in a village in Eastern Equatoria State in 2015.
“I want to start a well woman clinic and continue with my charity, Shadeaid which helps my country’s widows and orphans,” she said.
To donate to Shadeaid, see shadeaid.org.