Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle met Saturday with a leader of South Sudan, Vice President Riek Machar.
Suttle and Machar discussed the challenges facing South Sudanese immigrants to the United States, and how South Sudan might help in that process.
Omaha has a large Sudanese population and was one of eight U.S. cities last year in which expatriates could vote on whether southern Sudan should become an independent nation. The tally favored independence, and South Sudan was created.
The meeting Saturday took place in downtown Omaha.
Suttle said the vice president wondered why so many South Sudanese have come to Omaha.
The mayor said later: “They come because of the jobs and they come because housing is cheap and they come because there are success stories” of South Sudanese already living here.
“I think the biggest thing is, the welcome mat is out here for the South Sudanese,” Suttle added.
Buey Tut, executive director of Aqua-Africa, an Omaha nonprofit organization, also participated.
Aqua-Africa strives to provide clean drinking water to South Sudan. To do so, the organization has drilled several wells in the new nation.
— Rick Ruggles