By Ijoo Bosco
October 17, 2013 (TORIT) – A youth leader in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state has urged authorities to allocate sizable land to enable its young people engage in productive activities.
- Eastern Equatoria Youth Union president Epone Lolimo during the interview Octover 16, 2013 (ST)
Eastern Equatoria, according to Epone Lolimo, currently lags behind when its youth empowerment programmes are compared with those in the country’s other states.
“We are forgotten by our own leaders, not knowing that the future is very challenging [to the extent] that they may turn and say come and join hands and support our move”, said Lolimo.
The president of the state youth union mainly appealed to county commissioners to ensure land is provided to youth, whom, he said, engage in cattle raids and inter-tribal conflicts due to idleness.
Also a concern, Lolimo told Sudan Tribune in an interview, is the lack of sports facilities for youth tournaments, yet the region remains a powerhouse for sports activities in the country.
“Eastern Equatoria state youth have been champions for the last three years in South Sudan major sporting activities competition though little attention is being given to improve the nature of the minor grounds they have been taking their time into during practices”, he said.
The youth leader also appealed to non-governmental organisations in the state to help sponsor programmes and activities that promote peace and unity among young people in its counties.
He also appealed to the youth to unite together, saying unity is the cornerstone for peace, prosperity and development.
The youth union, its president assured, would work with the state government to foster peaceful co-existence among the various communities in counties and the entire state.
Lolimo, however, advised the youth to desist from political exploitation, describing it as a major cause of tension and confusion among communities in the state.
The union, he said, recently launched state county tours with plans to form branches across the eight counties for easy coordination.
The youth, according to the 2008 Sudan Housing and Population census, constituted over 70% of the South Sudanese population. It considered a youth as anyone between 18-35 years.