Youth advocates for civic space in constitution making process
South Sudanese youth want the Students Support Fund captured in the constitution.
Talks about cheaper fund dominated a one-day consultative workshop held in Juba on Tuesday.
The forum attracted mostly University Students.
South Sudan Students Union chair Deng Kuur Mading said that the fund was captured in the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), but youth have not benefited from it so far.
“The first thing we will have to ask is what has been mentioned by the revitalized agreement, and that is the students support fund,” Kuur said.
“People (MPs) have been talking about it in parliament. Our greatest need is this fund. We want it captured in the constitution making process.”
Peter Malir Biar, South Sudan Youth Organizations Coalition chairperson urged experts who are working on the national constitution to look into other areas like the eligibility gap like 40 year age limit for the president and governors, to give more youth a chance of taking up leadership roles at an early stage in life.
“If you look at the criteria set for the president and for governors, it is shown to be 40 years. Reality, however, is that most of the young people become intellectual at the age of 20, 22, 23, and that is where they demonstrate their talents and capabilities,” Malir stated.
Malir urged the youth to actively participate in the constitution making process by airing their views while at the same time telling the youth to shun violence.
“I am asking you today to be cautious of your roles and responsibilities as a youth. It is your responsibility to speak up on issues that affect young people.
“I have gone to (some) offices, and they keep telling me, it is you young people who are not active. You hate each other, you fight each other. Fighting along the tribal line, but your tribe will not help you. Your community will not help you. It is this country that will help you. This country has a big agenda.”
Michael Gorjin, the Youth Rights Coordinator for Norwegian People’s Aid, said that the youth needed affirmative action for them to be well represented in all the arms of the government.
“Sometimes I tend to disagree with people when they say conflict is caused by the youth. Conflict can be caused by anyone. And we know them,” he Khomboor said.