​Role of young people in realization of peace and security in South Sudan

By Tong Deng Anei
A group of seventy three (73) delegates of the South Sudan Young Leaders Forum (SSYLF) met in Kigali, Rwandan capital, to attend the SSYLF convention from November 11 – 15, 2017. 

Majority of the delegates came from South Sudan while others came from the Diaspora including Uganda, Egypt, Kenya, Europe, United States of America, Canada and Australia, respectively. 

It is important to mention that this convention took place at the right and challenging time for South Sudan because the country, with the support of the region and international community, is engaged in a serious search for long lasting peace and unity for the people of South Sudan. 
The political, economic, security and humanitarian crisis affecting the country are staggeringly huge and the SSYLF is taking upon itself the challenge and opportunity to mobilize and inform youth groups inside and outside the country to play a positive role in promoting peace and development. 

South Sudan, which has been at war with itself, has the largest population of over 60 percent young people. This large population of young people presents a unique opportunity for SSYLF to contribute effectively toward National Dialogue in a collective search for permanent peace in our nascent country. Sadly enough, this initiative of the SSYLF is misunderstood and seen by enemies of peace as an advocacy for regime change. 

Instead, they should support this initiative to help SSYLF whose young leaders from across South Sudan and its diaspora represent a diversity of ethnic backgrounds and include leading academics, church leaders, policy experts, youth leaders, humanitarian workers, and civil society with sole purpose of promoting peace building, reconciliation, and state-building efforts in South Sudan. 

The members of SSLYF have a lot of potentials to effectively contribute towards peace and nation building. The young people, vast majority of whom reside within the country, are ideal for peace building since they are endowed with necessary skills, knowledge, energy, and commitment to peace as demonstrated in Rwanda, where young people consistently promote unity across different segment of Rwandan society regardless of religious beliefs, political affiliation, social and ethnic background. 
I would like to end this brief statement by informing the people of South Sudan that SSYLF is a platform within which young people of South Sudan can play a positive role in promoting peace and unity of our people. I call upon young men and women in South Sudan to set aside tribalism and political differences and work together for peace and harmony of our people for the future of South Sudan beongs to them.

***

*Tong Deng Anei is a former State Minister of Health of now defunct Northern Bahr El Ghazal State and has been a humanitarian worker for many years. He can be reached at anei.tong@gmail.com

NB: The opinion expressed in this article are not necessarily the official position of AFTABOSS Internet’ional.

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