Jonglei Youth Declares Commitment to Peaceful Settlement of any Disputes
A one-day peace forum on “Youth as Peace builders” held on August 18, 2017 in Bor town has called for a change of outlook among the youth of greater Jonglei. The forum organized by the Community Media Network of South Sudan (CMNeTSS) with the support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was officially inaugurated by Hon. Akech Deng, Jonglei State Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports who urged the state youth to discard tribalism and make durable peace with the neighbouring states of Terekeka and Boma.
“The way forward to change this nation is to listen and ignore expressions such as: I don’t care, so what, it’s up to you, will not help. You need to make a peaceful and stable relationships with your neighbours”, emphasized the minister.
Minister Deng praised Jonglei State Governor for respecting fundamental freedoms, specifically lack of restrictions on media. The Information minister appeals for unity, peace and harmony among the youth for a prosperous state and countrywide.
Mama Rachel Ajak, Chairperson for Women Association in the state says women are for peace and have not stopped crying for the ongoing crisis to come to end.
According to her, the women are continuously giving pressure to the state governments of Jonglei, Terekeka, Boma and Jubek to see that the people live together in order to avoid grave violence witnessed in a couple of months ago among the youth.
“We women do not like troubles. Let us pray to God that may we live together”, Mama Ajak added.
The forum that drew 47 participants including 15 women from CSOs, CBOs, youth, women, traditional leaders, constitutional post holders, journalists and concerned citizens of Bor Municipal Council resolved that having suffered negative effects of conflict between the state and its neighbours hereby commit to peaceful settlement of any disputes without resorting to violence and welcome any practical solution that will contribute to and ensure peaceful co-existence.
Two community radio listeners’ clubs were also launched on the same day by the Information State Minister Deng after successive two days training commencing from August 16 – 17, 2017. The main purpose of the training was to encourage the members of the community and grassroots to link to each other to reduce conflict among social groups and support developments efforts for peaceful coexistence among communities of greater Jonglei and neighbouring states.
The workshop critical examined the concept of listeners’ club, setting up of the groups, development of effective networking and production of educational programmes. The facilitators asked the participants, using group consensus to identify major roles of listeners’ club members. The following are some of the key roles and responsibilities listed by the participants:
- Educate community on health and sanitation, culture of peace, discourage harmful traditional practices such as early marriage, denial of formal education to girl-child and many more others
- Protect the image and property of the member community radio station
- Networking with other peace forums/committees and organizations to embrace harmonious relationships;
- Ensures accurate information is transmitted to the community
- Develop strategic plan for the club and
- Advocate and promote peace education, culture of peace and non- violence
The participants afterward declared the will and determination to work towards development of and promotion of peace messages through:
- Holding of peace forums discussions
- Conduct public education on interactions between communities through different social and economic activities;
- Poetry by involving other stakeholders such as school children, religious and civil society organizations;
- Radio talk shows on reconciliation, healing and forgiveness
- Publication of community newspaper/magazine
- Songs, music and drama;
- Community outreach
- Posters, banners, play cards, T-shirts and Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
At the end of the event seven (7) radio receivers, four (4) smart phones and seven (7) pairs batteries donated by UNESCO were handed to the two listeners’ clubs of 40 persons including 20 women by the minister Deng.