Students demand warring parties to end fighting
By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon
A group of students from different universities have urged the warring parties to stop fighting and focus on building the future of the country.
The students made the remarks during a one day workshop intended to document their views to be incorporated in the next round of peace negotiations.
The meeting was organized by the Centre for Democracy and Integrity (CDI) with support from United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Speaking during the discussion on Friday in Juba, the Guild president of Starford International University, Daniel Lukudu Edward said the war in the country has been worsening and it has reached beyond the expectation of the people.
“We have realized that the suffering continued and was getting out of control. What we are expecting from the peace talks in Addis Ababa is for leaders to really focus on the vision of the country to restore lost hope among the citizens,” Mr. Lukudu said.
He said the first priority he expected from the peace talks was a mechanism for developing the future of the country.
“Leaders are responsible for the fate of all of us. This country has enough resources for all of us and there is no justification for continuous conflict,” the student leader added.
Mr. Lukudu called on the parties to compromise their interests and concentrate on how to alleviate the suffering of the people. They should not put their personal interest first. He added.
“As students in the universities we are very much concerned about the suffering of the people. The world is not happy with the fact people are still suffering. We really want leaders to make sure that this round of High Level Revitalization process will bring to us lasting peace,” he stressed.
He challenged the parties to consider first the situation of the citizens.
“As patriots you have the responsibility to care for us by putting our interests first. You have to look in to the documents and come up with mechanisms of addressing the issues raised. You really need to support the process at your level since citizens are watching you,” he emphasized.
Sylvia Akuot Bethou, a law student at Starford University said the country’s leaders were supposed to put aside their interests in the peace talks.
She said if the leaders continued to disagree in Addis Ababa in the next round of talks, it would mean they were not aware of the situation in the country.
“What I expect from them is coming together and ironing out their grievance. It is not going to Addis that will bring peace at all. The time we spend moving from place to place in search of peace is wasting our resources,” Ms. Sylvia quipped.
Another student, Martha Abuot Mading, of University of Juba said there was need for people to stop fighting since the conflict affected many people in the region.
For Ezekiel Makol Malual, also from University of Juba, it was paramount for leaders taking part in the peace talks to understand each other.
“Understanding each other should be the way forward to settle the grievances amongst ourselves. So let us always recognize the importance of proper understanding amongst the leaders involved in the talks this time,” Malual said.
The next round of talks is scheduled for 26th this month.