National, News

Youth demand gov’t action before elections

By Bida Elly David


As South Sudan drives to elections, young people demand concrete action from the Interim Unity Government on key issues before they cast their votes.

Some of the youth hinge their participation in the upcoming polls on government’s commitment to implement the peace agreement and addressing their concerns.

In interview with No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, some of the young people revealed their dissatisfaction with the current government’s performance

Abugo Simon, a trader, criticized the lack of business support and insecurity along the roads.

“Last year a number of young traders wanted to export goods to some parts of South Sudan but the killings on the roads discouraged them,” he stated.

He urged others to boycott the elections if the government fails to address these issues and resist political bribes.

“We cannot vote leaders who only focus on themselves while entire civilians suffer in hard rocks, as for me, young people should not vote if there is election,” he opined.

For her part Harriet Roba, a youth leader, expressed disappointment at the lack of basic services provision, particularly education.

“With all these how do leaders expect us to vote, if they need us youth to vote them let them start doing rather than saying,” she echoed.

She highlighted the limited options for girls and boys to continue their studies after primary school, due to the sole government school’s dysfunction and the high fees of the private alternative.

Roba further demanded action on security, infrastructure, healthcare, and education before considering voting.

“We as women are tired of war and conflicts, all these have not yet stopped we have been expecting these elections to come so that we vote but things are moving away,” she stated.

Another youth, Stephen Makuach, a jobless graduate, criticized the government’s failure to address unemployment, which he believes is a major cause of crime.

He compared it to the U.S. government’s efforts to create job opportunities for young people and declared his refusal to vote unless the situation improves.

“Frankly speaking I will not vote because I am jobless. My credentials have been inside for 7 years after I graduated, I tried public sector for several times but no progress,” he expressed.

Executive director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), Edmund Yakani had earlier, warned the government that ignoring young people could jeopardize the elections.

He emphasized the youth role in a successful democracy and urged their inclusion in the political process.

Last year, President Salva Kiir stressed that South Sudan must this year head for elections despite descending opposition voices on the conduct of December polls amidst pending tasks of the revitalized agreement which SPLM-IO wants completed first before going for elections.

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