Does the Revitalised Peace Agreement address youth issues?

By Khamis Cosmas Lokudu

Gatakhor Peace building radio and Drama outreach program held two hours discussions on Friday 8th – March, 2019 at France Institute compound within the University of Juba. The discussion was narrowed on whether the R-ARCISS addresses Youth issues and what could be the issues facing South Sudanese Youth.

It was a great challenge to learn that some of the Youth did not read the Peace Agreement signed on 12th September 2018 in the Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa, a participant said the R-ARCISS did not address the Youth issues however, he was quickly corrected by Mr Daniel Samson a Lecturer in the centre of Language at University of Juba. Daniel asked whether the participants read the Peace Agreement or not but few audience were able to say they read the Peace document and Mr Daniel advised the  gathering to at least have time and pass over the peace agreement document.

Little did some of them know, In chapter 1 Article 1.4.5 of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) say, having in mind that more than 70% of the population in the Republic of South Sudan is under the age of thirty and that Youth are the most affected by the war and represent high percentage of refugees and IDPs, the parties shall strive to include people of young age in their quotas at different level. In particular, the parties shall strive to ensure that the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) shall be less than forty years old.

What seems to be a concern now is that, the Youth of South Sudan need to lobby the parties to put extra effort towards speedy implementation of the R-ARCSS to allow voluntary return of South Sudanese refugees in the neighbouring countries and those who are camped up in Protection of civiliansites (PoCs) across the country. The peace agreement is the option to bring peace to South Sudan and restore the love plus unity amidst the different communities in the country.

As the discussion went on, the gathering discussed issues facingthe entire young in the country. Mr Malek Angelo, lecturer in the college of Arts and Humanities at the University of Juba saidlack of education is the major challenge facing the Youth in South Sudan because most of the young people are not well equippedwith knowledge that could help them identify what is good and bad for themselves. He also mentioned unemployment as an issue facing the youth in the Republic of South Sudan. However,Mr Daniel Samson, another lecturer in the centre of Language University of Juba seconded his colleague’s argument in regardsto issues facing the Youth. He briefly added that negative attitudes and lack of unity among the Youth also contribute to the issuesfacing the youth. He further urged the youth to promote the spirit of togetherness in the Republic of South Sudan.

A participants who didn’t mention his name added that, the Youth in South Sudan have categorised themselves according to where they come from, those who came from East Africa believe they know everything, those who were by then in Sudan have their own grouping and the Youth that came from the bush is another group. As a result, the Youth in South Sudan have differences he said.

He concluded by saying that the young people in South Sudan are facing the same issues being in town or village. He urged the national organizations in South Sudan to collaborate and push youth issues to the higher level for attention. He further quoted Community Empowerment For Progress Organization (CEPO) for their credible work in the country wishing the Youth to join such organization that works on issues of youth in this country.

The author can be reached via email: khamiscosmas@gmail.com

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