Youth insists on 20 percent representation in Jonglei
By James Atem Kuir
Young people in Jonglei State are wrapping up campaigns to demand political parties to reconsider youth representation as stipulated in the peace agreement across the country.
The call came as the formation of the states and local governments takes shape, with many including Jonglei State being established this week.
The 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement gives 20 percent youth representation at all levels of governance including local administrations.
Speaking during Public Disclosure on youth representation, in decision making process in Bor town this week, David Garang Goch, the Chairperson of Jonglei Civil Society Network, revealed that equitable representation issues were still a challenge in the distribution of powers both at national and local levels.
“For example, the ruling party (SPLM) has not been considering the youth especially in the recent appointments, and so, we still urge them to reflect the 20 percent youth representation in the local governments as other political parties have so far implemented,” he said.
The youth public disclosure was conducted by Christian Agency for Peace and Development (CAPAD) with financial support of the Norwegian People’s Aid. (NPA).
Manyok Samuel, the Field Coordinator of CAPAd in Jonglei said the event was meant to echo youth representation at the local levels in the face of the ongoing formation.
“We have been calling on the government at all levels to accommodate young people in the decision making process, and in deed, we are still advocating for their rights now. And if such rights have not been considered then they should be reconsidered,” he said.
According to the activist, there was still a need for youth consideration by the ruling party SPLM in the ongoing local governments’ formation.
“Other political parties especially SPLM-IO, SSOA and others have shown seriousness in implementing 20 percent young people’s representation; but it is only SPLM under the President which has not reflected much on the youth and Women’s Representation,” Samuel explained.
He urged the political parties to engage young people in the decision making processes of the country, adding that such engagements would boost their capacities.
At least over 500 young people were reached during the campaign in Bor town.
Deborah Ayen, Jonglei State Women’s representative at the function advised youth to always demand for their rights in a non-violent manner.
She also advised the youth to always attend community events that are rich in capacity building.
“It is good for youth to be respected either by the government or the communities since they are backbones of the society,” she explained.
“So, since you (youth) are the men power as well as external defenders of the societies, I challenge you to advocate for your rights in peaceful manner. Such rights should come as results of peaceful engagements and clean commitment,” Ms. Ayen cited.
The youth Activists believe that youth inclusion in the decision making will boost relations and further durable peace in the country especially when youth are meaningfully engaged.