Opinion

Open letter to H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan

Subject: Initiate a National Poverty Alleviation program with South Sudan characteristics

Dear Mr. President,

I’m addressing this open letter to you as a citizen by birth of this great motherland South Sudan.

I write to convey our most sincere congratulations upon your continues efforts made in pursuing the lasting peace and stability the people of South Sudan are yearning for throughout these years of conflict. As with the bold step you have evidently taken to revert the 32 states to 10 states plus the 3 administrative areas to bring about the lasting peace and stability in our great nation, this is much appreciated by the citizens of South Sudan.

Your Excellency, on the 31st July 2005, you were nominated by the SPLM/A leadership to succeed our late father and Hero Dr. John Garang De Mabior at a very difficult time when the South Sudanese people and their friends were mourning our late father and Hero Dr. John Garang De Mabior without any hope for South Sudan future but later, we (South Sudanese people) gained hope and confidence after listening to your speeches carefully most memorable was on the day, late Dr. John Garang’s body was flown to Yei River town for the mass to pay their last tribute at Yei Freedom Square. While standing quietly amidst the mourning crowds attentively, some individuals expressed their confidence with the understanding that, you have the best experience of their sufferings and situations in the bushes more than enough over the course of the last two decades and 1-year liberation struggle against the former oppressive colonial Khartoum regime and indeed the people of South Sudan were delivered successfully under your leadership.

On the 11th July 2011, the people of South Sudan freed themselves forever with overwhelming votes of 99% from the colonial powers to become a great independent young nation of the world Republic of South Sudan.

Your excellency, the purpose of addressing to you this letter is mainly concerning the abject poverty and vulnerability the 6 years’ civil war had imposed on the innocent suffering South Sudanese people coupled with the income inequalities, high unemployment rate and lack of access to financial credits to even afford or start a local business/entrepreneurship. Larger (60% – 70% percent are estimated to be young people) population of South Sudan countrywide are younger population (youths) according to the observations taken (no any research done) and these very youths are faced with the problem of high unemployment rate, inequality, limited local life earning skills centers and the lack of financial credits to support their local business ideals. However, very little progress is being done to lift out the suffering South Sudanese people by the various international/ national organizations or development partners/international companies in the country throughout these years since the country gained independence. I guessed, the rise of the TORONTO BOYS in Juba city may be due to the abject poverty and lack of life earning skills they desperately needed to sustain themselves as the reasons. However, if any attention is directed and studied towards them and many others in the whole country to better off their lives, I believe TORONTO and others will find no space but to cease automatically.  

The public and private Universities in South Sudan are doing very great in producing thousands of South Sudan graduates (human resources) yearly apart from those other ones studying in abroad or overseas and these are mostly youths unfortunately, most of them are faced with the challenge of joblessness. So many foreign workers (named themselves as experts) working for the international NGOs/UN agencies or firms including national NGOs in South Sudan and some are doing local jobs which can be done by many of our qualified South Sudanese if there are no barriers put in place to block others out of the opportunity. Some South Sudanese elites were exclusively observed to have more powers and resources and they practice creating new poverty in the people by grabbing opportunities that are meant to create jobs to our citizens’ (youths/ locals). Women are observed to be the cheapest labour in our country for example, if you have some work that may cost 50ssp or 100ssp per day right now, women with children facing difficulties will accept to do the work for the sake of the children but men will obviously reject the cheap work (may be some men will accept) despite the difficulty both men and women are faced with.

Your excellency, South Sudan have got very many vocational training institutions or schools but the model in which teaching/ training is designed is in such a way that, English is the only language of instruction applied hence, this exclude the disadvantaged youths or persons from attending the life earning skills they needed to better off their lives. For these reasons, many of our youths who are involved in money exchange businesses persistently alongside the streets of Juba city to raise something for themselves and their families though some of them do not have the skills to put their money into good businesses that may better off their lives. Be rest assured that, most of our people are coping up well and good at using mobile/phone technology despite the fact that, some of our people are uneducated formally and phone/mobile is considerably a very vital asset to farmers, fisher folks, cattle farmers and local people at the rural areas which helps in facilitating their daily economic activities. Some of our youths chose to become drunkards due to lack of opportunities to seize on as the last option to relief themselves from job stress coupled with the rise in domestic violence and women are now on the forefront of taking family responsibilities, in the refugee settlements in Uganda and Juba city in particular is very clear to prove these facts.

The local (native) businesses are mostly run by the foreign nationals in our country since 2005 update and yet local businesses are one of the national pillars contributing to economic growth. The financial institutions in South Sudan are very unfair when it comes to services delivery in terms of providing loans and skills to support the needy citizens as stipulated in their specified mandates per the laws of our country. The question is, 1-what is in place to help our needy citizens determine the trajectories of progress and life enhancements they needed to better off their lives in their home country and how long should it take to fix these very needs?  The citizens especially here in Yei wanted more clarifications in the works and businesses in the private sector that can be done by the South Sudanese nationals and those ones of the foreign nationals for peaceful living together as usually.   

In the recent years of the conflict in South Sudan, so many religious institutions (new churches) were seen rising especially in Juba as a case example but we are troubled with the manner in which some religious institutions are conducting themselves by soliciting money from their poor believers without any services in return to build the lives of the poor believers hence creating more poverty in our society. It is true that, some religious institutions have always been pure in their work though is only GOD who judges, and some of these religious institutions have been in solidarity with the suffering people of South Sudan throughout, May GOD reward them more.

According to the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN/SDGs) items number 1-(Eliminate poverty), 2-(Erase Hunger), 4-(Provide quality education), 5-(enforce gender equality), 8-(create decent work and economic growth) 10-(reduce inequality) and 16- (guarantee peace, justice and strong institution). The experiences and lessons learnt from China’s economic transformation and poverty reduction program which have lifted out six hundred million (600,000,000) Chinese people out of extreme poverty from 1999 to 2015. This is a very good experience and model to learn from since China is a traditional friend of South Sudan.

Your Excellency, In July 24th 2019, you have increased the salaries for the public Universities and the move was welcomed by all the public universities in the country after you had listened to their concerns and demands which have created a new phase in the lives of the teaching staffs. We hoped that, you will also pay attention to the issues of unemployment rate and inequalities amongst the youths in the country. Since, young people are given space, audience, and percentage in the R-ARCSS as well as in our constitution, I propose that, your office should consider the Young people in masterminding and making meaningful contributions in any best way they can to lift the poor people out of the extreme poverty in our great nation South Sudan.

 In conclusion

We the South Sudanese people are blessed with too much resources in our virgin land “South Sudan” sadly, in these 6 years of conflicts, our citizens continued to suffer more from the abject poverty and inequalities within the country and in the refugee settlements abroad and be devalued this way.

I respectfully call upon Your Excellency, our President, to consider the following for our country while implementing the R-ARCSS to resuscitate our country back to peaceful and stable homeland: 1-Establish a national poverty alleviation program with South Sudanese Characteristics to provide inclusive social welfare programs 2-Create more jobs (both public and private sector) throughout every year to our vulnerable youths countrywide, 3-Provide and guarantee job security to our women working in the private sector, 4- your office should provide funds to the capable youths/individuals, associations and groups who are capable of masterminding resourceful projects, local businesses and enterprises that can cause positive impact to the lives of the local people in our society, this is because though international partners can provide funds to locals but have got so many conditions attached to their funding policies and are time consuming before receiving.

Thank you

Yours sincerely,

For JUSTICE, LIBERTY AND PROSPERITY

Gobeng Likambo Seme Mamuru: A South Sudanese citizen living in Yei River town

Poverty Alleviation Activist. Email: gobenglokombo@gmail.com         

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