Youth Want Inclusion in South Sudan Peace Negotiations

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In short
The youth groups which include; Jonglei Youth Union, Equatorial Students Union in Uganda, Support the Children, Juba University, SPLM-DC Youth group, Democratic Forum, ANC Youth Sector among others are demanding for direct youth representation and participation in the peace process.

Youth organizations from the ten states of the Republic of South Sudan want inclusion in the on-going peace process in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, arguing that they are being used by both parties to facilitate the conflict.
 
Speaking during a consultative dialogue in Juba on Monday, they argued that youths have been the primary victims of the crisis as many of them have been recruited and employed by the warring forces of President Salva Kiir and former Vice President now rebel leader Riek Machar.
 
They say that even though they have been greatly affected by the conflict, they have not been included in the on-going peace negotiations. The youth believe that they would add value to the negotiations.
 
The youth groups which include; Jonglei Youth Union, Equatorial Students Union in Uganda, Support the Children, Juba University, SPLM-DC Youth group, Democratic Forum, ANC Youth Sector among others are demanding for direct youth representation and participation in the peace process.
 
They want seven representatives to participate in the peace process.
 
They also demanded that the warring parties should commit to the agreement and provide humanitarian assistance to the suffering people in South Sudan.
 
The youth groups also believe that the most effective way to end the crisis is through the use of carefully targeted regional sanctions on the parties that violate the agreements in order to promote a durable political settlement.
 
Meanwhile the Sudan Tribune recently reported that two South Sudanese youth organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Friday, agreeing to jointly engage in collective efforts to overthrow the government.
 
The National Youth Union (NYU) and Greater Equatorial Youth Leadership (GEYL), which are based in Ethiopia and South Sudan respectively, said they would support the leadership of the country’s rebel faction, known as the SPLM/A in Opposition, in its efforts to realise the aspirations of the South Sudanese people and achieve sustainable peace and development in the future according to the report.
 
South Sudan has been mired in conflict since mid-December last year when a political split emerged in the ruling SPLM, sparking violence across the country and reigniting tribal tensions. The fight has displaced over one million South Sudan citizens while thousands have been killed.
 
The fighting has pitted government troops loyal to President Salva Kiir against rebels aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar, who was sacked last July and now heads the opposition faction.
 
The two youth organizations said they hoped the agreement would lead to the wider mobilisation off youth across the country and the full participation of a youth coalition to realize the formation of a federal democratic system of governance in the youngest East African nation.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.