Youths and Politics in Post independent South Sudan: The case of Gogrial State

Posted: December 19, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Peter Makuach Manyuat, Juba, South Sudan

Gogrial state

December 19, 2017 (SSB) — On July 9th, 2011, South Sudan declared its independence from the Republic of Sudan. The joyous celebrations that ensued showed the level hankering South Sudanese had for an independent country that they would be calling their home.  Barely two years later, our beloved country was plunged into an abyss of civil war by greedy and masquerade of leaders. This war has not only deprived us of security and job opportunities but also our social cohesion and lost our life direction.

In this article, the author explains the way youths have taken politics as a way of living and in that way, have massively contributed to the destabilization of South Sudan in one way or the other.

Sudan Housing and Population Census (2008) estimates that youth make up about 70% of the population in South Sudan. This means that youths are the outright majority and hence, anything affecting them has to be given a serious national attention. This is not the case now. Youth in South Sudan who are always mobilized and labelled by politicians as “defenders and protectors” of the nation and communities, are often dragged into violence ignited by ethnic divisions among ethnically polarized communities.

Whereas in the past young people could easily be managed by elders,  wars, and the breakdown of clan leadership in South Sudan have fragmented society, uprooted people, and broken family links. Elders now bitterly and rightly complain that the youth no longer listen to them. Then, South Sudanese leaders, like their counterparts in various parts of Africa and beyond, are drawn from those nationalists who fought for independence.

Dismally though, Instead of making room for and tapping the potential of the youth, investing in building their capacities and infrastructure for the future, leaders have instead adopted an adversarial stance toward the young, viewing them either as incompetent or as competitors for coveted government positions.

Christopher Zambakari (2013) states that the loss of faith in the young is a faith lost in the future. As the younger generation loses faith in the older generation, the older generation further entrenches its place in power and consolidates its position even deeper.

Lack of Job opportunities has led to the youth taking politics as their way of life. This is shown in the way youth approach and conduct different levels of youth associations’ campaigns. The case is even worse in my own state of Gogrial. I will not be specific here as I fear that I may be a victim of the undeserving repercussion of this open fact from those who may be touched.

When there is an opportunity for a political exercise, be it the University associations or various levels of youth Unions, they take it as the only chance to get job for a living. One would, without any meaningful agenda, declare himself/herself a candidate for the position and would just corrupt the whole elections process so as to get the seat. After securing the job, instead of even setting the proper policies for office management, they first engage in collecting money from the government officials and all working class and embezzle it all at appalling pace.

Madam Achuek Mabior Achuil has just won the trust of Gogrial State Youths to elect her as the Chairlady of Gogrial Youth Union in Juba. This is the high time for her to prove wrong this negative stereotype about youth. I have the confidence that your tenure will bring about the unity among the youth that has been missing for quite some time now.

To change this negative stereotype against us the youth, we need to take our opportunities and use them efficiently. When one decides to contest for a youth leadership, it should be for the right purpose. This is not the time to elect individuals based on the status of the families they come from.

Rather, it is the time that we elect individuals with satisfying manifestos and good leadership experiences so that we can again instil confidence in ourselves and have a better look in the faces of our elders whose trust and faith are continuously leaning down.

Peter Makuach Manyuat writes from Juba and is an MBBS Candidate at the University of Juba. He is reachable on (211)954334432 or through e-mail petermakuac@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from, plus a concise biography of yourself.

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