Fight tribalism, Equatorian youth urged
A five-day consultative meeting for youth in South Sudan’s Greater Equatoria region concluded in Torit State, with calls for the young people to unite and fight tribalism.
The meeting, which started last Monday, was organized by South Sudan Youth Peace and Development Organization (SSYPADO).
Betty Mude Taban, a youth from Lainya County in Yei River State, said reconciliation and forgiveness are essential for peace to prevail.
She said the current situation, which has seen majority of women and children scattered in camps, should not be allowed to continue.
“As youth, we talked about reconciliation. Reconciliation is very important. If someone wronged you, you have to forgive. When we were meeting, we shared experiences and many experienced a lot of bad things that happened during this crisis,” said Mude.
She added, “Forgiveness is very important and if we do not forgive one another, peace will not come to this country”.
Mude urged government to prioritize reconciliation, pointing out that the youth have expressed readiness to reconcile with one another.
On her part, Julia John who hails from Mvolo County in Amadi State said unity is paramount for youth, who form the country’s majority.
She urged the youth to transform the young nation through unity, forgiveness and get rid of tribalism in their respective communities.
“As youth, we need to have unity among ourselves. Tribalism, conflict, alcohol, among others, should not be our objective. I desire the youth of Torit and South Sudan in general to unite because time has gone. It is time for us the youth to forgive and love one another and if all these exist, we will have peace in South Sudan,” said Julia.
Meanwhile, Tombe Daniel Swaka from Mangala County in Jubek State said they agreed to network though frequent communication.
“The resolution we adopted was that there should be networking. We exchanged emails and phone numbers so that we can communicate with one another when we go back to our states. Through exchange of ideas, the youth can play positive roles in the country’s development. The percentage given to youth is very small, and the little they get will be distributed in political parties,” he said.
Tombe said the Greater Equatoria youth are determined to join registered political parties to take part in decision making processes.
“As youth from the Greater Equatoria, we don’t have many people in political parties. We must have youth who will join any registered political party, not rebellion. We as Equatorians don’t encourage our youth to join rebellion, but join registered political parties to benefit from,” he stressed.
The programme manager for SSYPADO, Peter Pitia Juliano said the meeting aimed at bringing together the youth to share their experiences in order to find solutions to the problems affecting them.
“The reason we came to Torit and brought our brothers and sisters from Equatoria to meet their colleagues in Torit is to share experiences of what happened during the conflict in South Sudan. What is the role of the youth and the reasons why they should be united among themselves from all corners of the country,” said Pitia.
“There has been misunderstandings and lack of trust amongst youth, but how can youth be united so that their voice remain one? How can they help the state and share their experiences? The challenges facing them and how they can, as the youth, help play a role in the country’s development,” he stressed.
Similar meetings have, in the past, been done in the Greater Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile regions and another meeting is to be held at Kakuma refugee camp in the near future, according to Pitia.
According to estimates, 72 per cent of South Sudan’s 12.4 million population are 30 years old and below.