By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei
South Sudan Vice President for Gender and Youth Cluster, Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior has defied government over increased numbers of street kids in the country.
VP Nyandeng issued the statement yesterday during a three-days’ workshop organized by United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on the protection of children in South Sudan.
Nyandeng said that the children were caught up in the war of 2013 and 2016.
“Shame on us, we continue to push them on the street and we call them street children, streets do not give birth to children, these children have their mothers and fathers and we called them Niggas, Toronto’s, Crew, who give birth to crew? it’s us, the conflict we created and we are not here to admit,” the Vice President said.
She said that during the war of 2013 and 2016, besides the war of struggle, children became victims hence turn into street children.
“Should we call it the war of selfishness, war of greed, the war about, we wanted to be me not you? Our children were badly caught up in conflict without us standing here or say sorry for them,” she described.
In addition, Nyandeng emphasized that children should be given right to education, right to health and right to good feeding.
“Children are not given a chance to grow as children and I know this, if I open your mouth and put my hand in your stomach now, my hand will burn up because your stomach is burning because of what is happening in this country, it’s hurting, starting from me and everybody, let us give them what they want, what can make them leaders of tomorrow, and its education, good health and good feeding” she said.
Nyandeng said that government continues to push children on the street and later call them street children.
She said, street does not give birth to children pointing out that these children have their mothers and fathers; “we also call them Niggas, Toronto’s, crew, who give birth to crew? It’s us, the conflict we created and we are not here to admit”.
However, one of the students from Juba Diocese Model Secondary school Naomi Momone reminded everybody in the function especially leaders in the country to allow children their rights.
She said that children are not soldiers or labourers, expressing that they are not ready to get married, and should be protected from violence and harm.
She further said that they are children and have right to be child until they turn 18 years of age.
The young girl said she has learned that the rights of children are being supported by many laws and institutions that aim to protect all children in the country.
Naomi emphasized that the government should provide children with certificate to protect them from being recruited as soldiers.
“Children must be protected from being mistaken as adults through birth registration, I ask you to provide a birth certificate to all children. This can protect us from being recruited as soldiers,” she said.
“Children have a right to education and for this to happen all children need to have classrooms, good teachers who are paid the salaries they deserve and provide us with books and learning materials, she added.
Further, the S.2 girl reiterated that every child has right to life and health, but in South Sudan children are getting injured or killed by conflicts.
She said that children must not be separated from their parents against their will, saying that children get separated during floods and disasters and during fighting.
Naomi asked government to find solutions to protect child’s right to family and to care.