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Civil Society, Faith Based Associations, Women, Youth Peace Promoters and Media Joint Statement (June 9, 2017)

The civil society, Faith based associations, women, youth, media and concern citizens of Western Lakes State, on Friday June 9, 2017, gathered in Rumbek town to discuss the role of youth in peacebuilding organized by theCommunity Media Network of South Sudan (CoMNeTSS) with support from UNESCO and UNDP.  The forum drew 61 participants including 32 women.

Appreciating the UNDP, UNESCO support through Community Media Network of South Sudan listening to the concerns of the people of South Sudan, the voices of the voiceless and CMNeTSS when they approached the UNDP and UNESCO to talk about issues of peace, reconciliation and non-violence; an indication that South Sudanese are tired of wars and they are ready to work for peace.

Acknowledging the dedication to the issue of peace and reconciliation, women speaking out their issues without fear, the youth standing saying their issues as this country’s tomorrow leaders, the primary responsibility to bring about peace rests upon their shoulders and stakeholders who should protect the world’s youngest country not to break down.

Remembering that the peace agreements signed are not owned by the grassroots, even not felt and implementation processes are delayed, with the peace forum debates on the youth role in peacebuilding conducts by CMNeTSS throughout the states of South Sudan in leading up period, a few outcomeswill be accomplished.

Impressed with the development partners believes in ownership and sustainability, the reason they support local NGOs efforts like CMNeTSS who knows the issues on the ground to deal with issues of peace and reconciliation.

Concerned with the disturbing nonexistence of peace in the country,many views were raised by the participants that the communal conflicts in Lakes State and South Sudan badly affects women, children and elderly persons, despite the fact that women are neutral yet they are the victims of rape, domestic violence and revenge killings. The forum after four hours deliberations emerged with the following resolutions:

  1. The youth must discards tribalism and preach nationalism, that they are South Sudanese, but not ethnicity.
  2. The forum calls for an inclusive conference between the women and state authorities to find out who armed the civilian population and develop a strategy to turn these guns into hoes and start farming.
  3. The participants recommend for the immediate disarmament across the region because the presence of guns makes peace and reconciliation efforts fails.
  4. Equality and equitable sharing of resources to reduce cattle rustling and high bride price which are the direct factors in the conflict.
  5. Youth to keep a way from being used by interest groups especially politicians to achieve their goals.
  6. The youth and the state authorities to return stolen cattle and give them to their rightful owners to end communal conflict in the State.
  7. The state authorities to register all arms if disarmament campaigns fail.
  8. Establishment of youth resource centers so that they can socialize and learn from each other as a way of empowering them and mixing to put behind issues of ethnic identities.
  9. Sports and cultural activities to be promoted to engage youths in realizing their talent and do what brings development as opposed to violence.
  10. The Youth should listen to their parents and peace should begin from them and that they should feel sorry for stepping on someone way.
  11. Songs of peace should be played over radio stations to educate citizens on the importance of peace.
  12. Bride price should be reduced to curb violence caused by young people who go to raid in order to get cows for marriage.
  13. For peace dialogue and forums to succeed, peace actors should go to the grassroots or down in the villages and cattle camps to meet people in areas where conflict is concentrated.
  14. WFP and other humanitarian organizations should be involved in peace building because hunger sometimes make other people kill and loot to survive, which causes insecurity.
  15. UNDP, UNESCO and other development partners should continue to support local NGOs so that they can deal with issues of peace and reconciliation.

 

Contact Address: Community Media Network of South Sudan (CMNeTSS), Juba, South Sudan

Mobile: 0955 081 727 or 0956 201 636 comnetss2017@gmail.com

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