Author tells young criminals: visit Sudan for a week

Author tells young criminals: visit Sudan for a week, by Caroline Overington.

Majok Tulba is a former child refugee from South Sudan, turned Australian poet and writer. He has one, poignant message for the young men of South Sudanese origin who have been rampaging through the streets of Melbourne: give up your Australian life.

Go to South Sudan, for just one week. Listen to the gunfire. Feel the hunger in your belly. Sweat through your malaria. Duck and weave in fear. ‘‘Never, never, never would they do the wrong thing again,’’ says the novelist, whose first book Beneath The Darkening Sky attracted the attention of every major publishing house in Australia.

“What I have seen on the TV, I can’t believe,” Mr Tulba says of the violence in Melbourne. “I have spoken to community leaders and I understand most of the young men are not child soldiers, they are not refugees, they are Australian born, and they regard what comes out of the mouths of their parents as history.

“Their parents talk to them about war, violence, gunfire, they think it was 100 years ago. I would like them to give up their lives in Australia for one week and experience South Sudan.