Home | News    Sunday 27 November 2011

Resolve Abyei conflict, S. Sudanese youth tell gov’t


By Julius N. Uma & Ngor Arol Garang

November 26, 2011 (AWEIL/JUBA) - A youth conference in Greater Bahr el Ghazal has urged the government to resolve the dispute between Juba and Khartoum over the contested territory of Abyei, which they say is threatening the security of neighbouring regions.

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Hundreds of southern Sudanese take part in a demonstration against northern Sudan’s military incursion into the border town of Abyei in the southern capital of Juba Monday May 23, 2011. (AP)

The call for the issue to be addressed at the first Bahr el Ghazal Youth Conference which opened on Thursday in Aweil, the capital of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state. The four day meeting has called for the consolidation of peace and unity in South Sudan amid growing concerns of numerous challenges faced by the young country’s youth, less than five months after the country attained independence in as part of a 2005 peace deal.

As part of the agreement, residents of Abyei were due to vote on whether to remain in north Sudan - where the fertile, oil-producing region was placed by the British over 100 years ago - or to become part of an independent South Sudan.

Unlike South Sudan’s referendum, which went ahead on time, Abyei’s plebiscite did not go ahead, as the two sides could not agree on who could vote. In May north Sudan’s army forcibly took control of the region and have yet to pull out despite the arrival of an Ethiopian UN peacekeeping mission.

Fighting in Abyei has caused thousands to be displaced into the surrounding states of Lakes, Warrap and Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal.

The African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) has lauded the recent resumption in the post-independence negotiations between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan.

The talks, which initially hit a deadlock, resumed in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital on 21 November. The two countries are yet to agree on border issues, including the principles and demarcation of the north-south border. Other issues being discussed are the transitional financial arrangements, oil, trade issues, assets and liabilities.

“In line with its mandate, the panel is committed to working with the two states to facilitate agreement on all outstanding issues in order realize the aspiration of the two viable Sudanese states at peace with each other,” the AUHIP said in a 25 November statement.


Speaking during the four day Greater Bahr el Ghazal youth convention, Jong Anthony Deng, the Warrap state coordinator decried the high insecurity levels in South Sudan and warned young people against being manipulated by self-centered politicians.

“Let us not forget that we are at war with one another because we are politically manipulated and therefore do not want to oppose any wrong doing in our communities. It’s time for the youth to unite together for a common agenda,” Deng told delegates in Aweil.

Since independence numerous rebellions in South Sudan have blighted the new nation, which is struggling to recover after decades of war and underdevelopment.

Deng further cited unemployment, socio-political issues and tribalism as some of the major setbacks facing South Sudanese youth who, according to the 2008 housing and population census, accounted for nearly 70 percent of the population.

Thon Manyuon Konybaay, a Lakes state representative also re-echoed similar challenges, but appealed to the over 150 youth gathered for the four-day convention to us it as a platform for devising remedies to their problems.


The conference covered a wide range of themes, seeking to enhance participation of youth in promoting good governance and identify the challenges facing them in four states. The forum will also put forward recommendations on how to address security issues, unemployment, education, youth leadership and conflict.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune on the third day of the conference, Ariec Mayar Ariec, a member of the Warrap State Legislative Assembly and a delegate at the conference, said that youth had a key role in development.

"The challenges of South Sudan youths are many. It is no longer news today that most people involved in criminal activities fall in the youth age bracket”, Ariec explained. Cattle raiding and banditry and are common in South Sudan.

Ariec said unemployment, South Sudan’s poor education system, and lack of parental guidance as major challenges for young people in the world’s newest country.

The conference discussed ways to get more young people involved in civil society and best to communicate to them. Ariec said that young people needed "experts from different sectors to enlighten us about our social, legal, business and many other areas.” The youth association planned to raise funds so they could provide their members with training "on how to use the internet on both in English and Arabic”, he added.

The Warrap state MP said that cultural preservation was an important aspect in national development as it helps young people understand, respect and value their cultures.

"The different ethnic groups in South Sudan have rich cultural heritages, which if utilised will help to instill behavioural change in our young people."

He said he hopes the conference would extend cooperation aiming at work together with other existing groups so as to build trust and consolidate peace across South Sudan.


However, the talk of unity at the conference was undermined by youth leaders who said that they had not been consulted over the meeting, complaining that representatives had been selected from the capital Juba and not from the region.

Kuol Wieu Kuol, the chairperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement Youth League, (SPLM-YL) in Warrap State, told Sudan Tribune on Saturday that his and other youth groups had not been consulted.

“It would have been good idea if the objectives were made known to all the other groups. If indeed the intention was meant to bring youth together and to cherish each other, the objectives and criteria of selections would have been made known to all. Some youth, especially those coming from Warrap State, were selected from Juba directly attended the conference without the knowledge of other group”, he said,

Manyiel Dut Kok, chairperson of the SPLM Youth League in Lakes State also argued that the organisers of the conference should have shared the plans and objectives about conference with all the region’s youth groups.

Kok said those attending the conference from Lakes state were taken from Juba directly to the venue of the conference without consultation with official youth representatives, who live in the area.

“We have 12 people attending from Lakes State. They were taken from Juba without my knowledge”, he said explaining that resolution of the conference would not be binding on youth leadership in the state.

Dhaya Abelrahaman Dhaya, a member of the SPLM Youth League in Western Bahr el Ghazal State added that he supports unity among youth group but opposed the way the conference was organised.

“I agree that we should work together in sensitising and encouraging youths to promote peace and unity but I do not agree with the way this conference was organised.

"Normally, the official procedure was that all the groups should have been consulted. If the intention of this conference was to bring youth together, the SPLM youth league should have been consulted prior to commencement of the conference so that we discuss with them objectives and expected recommendation with the SPLM Secretariat in the state and the ministry of social welfare and development”, he said.


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  • 27 November 2011 06:57, by Aristotle

    @The problems facing the youth of south sudan should involve all the youth in the country not just Bahr el Ghazal bse the problems being faced by Bahr el ghazal youth are somewhere in other regions being faced by youth.It would been better to make it all inclusive conference.The Bahr el ghazal region should acknowlege the way they are mismanaging the country that they should not spearhead biasness

    repondre message

    • 27 November 2011 17:45, by Nuerone Mafitabu

      That is the case of dinkas,No southerns should be involved into such a case.The fuel is been taken to somalia, and sold in juba with very high prices by el shabab somalia in juba south sudan brought them by our brothers dinkas.


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  • 27 November 2011 07:00, by Bolman

    i think that Abyei wiil not be a issue for all of us where is the SPLM/SPLA and Deng Kuol money who soldout the Abyie to the Arab North of Sudan in 1905 who is going to be blindfooling by Dinka betrayed,there is nothing called Abyei conflict this is a lies i will not accepted that confusion let the Dinka original Abyie tried their lies first with uncle Salva kiir mayardit
    Bolman online

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    • 27 November 2011 09:24, by Aristotle

      @ Bolman,no that is it the case, Abyei belongs to South Sudan,Abyei was transferred to Khordufan for Administrative issue, the same way Dinka Aliab was transferred to Rumbek from Bor district now that the country has divided into two,then southern territories have to be transferred back bse there is no any administrative link with the north anymore. Deng Kuol is like other traitors

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      • 27 November 2011 10:42, by Abyei Soil

        The African High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) is not serious over the Abyei crisis, imagine, Omer al Bashir crossed many deadlines on the stated issue but nothing practically put in place to show or bring down the perpetrator to legal procedures such that the wrong committed should stand down immediately. If Sudan was an internet then Said Omer al Bashir would have been a great cyber attack.

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        • 27 November 2011 10:45, by Abyei Soil

          The present of this man in power is a great threat not to South Sudan and people of Abyei alone but to all regional bloc of Africa. Some people have mentality of blaming Deng Majok over Abyei transfer which is not realistic. Deng Majok was acting under duress inflence from foreign powers. Just like the way Arabs entered Sudan and African accepted Arabs to rule over them. Can you imagine, so, the o

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          • 27 November 2011 10:54, by Abyei Soil

            ... Can you imagine, so, the only way to solve this problem is only throwing away our ethnic differences and work together toward our common goals that is unity, prosperity, liberty, justice and freedom of South Sudan communities.

            The conference anyway, though I was told about it, did not much with the expectation of South Sudanese youth. The only problem was information did not reach to other

            repondre message

            • 27 November 2011 10:59, by Abyei Soil

              ...not reach to other members who might be having some ideas to the due problem affecting youth. Sorry to bother you but I can’t afford to silent my brain. Thanks you.

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            • 27 November 2011 17:00, by Bolman

              Mr Abyei soil those you just mentioned they are nonsense they don’t make sense because nobody even tried to make them in our Societies intired those are too radicals trickers point of view in political voices to blindfooling the others World of Justice and equalities don’t even repeated again sorry about it brother this is ashamfull to brought unworkable samples
              Bolman online

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  • 27 November 2011 10:28, by Jacob Dior Macueng Aciek

    what a misspoken commented above,
    You guys are hitting the nail with another nail,
    this article needs positive comment not rubbish like the way you guys put it,anyway the issue of Abyei needs the concern of South Sudan not original Dinka as you put,if the question comes in like this,who is not a original tribe in South Sudan?
    when we talk of South Sudan management,all the tribes are represented.

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  • 27 November 2011 22:34, by James Maker Akok

    Thanks you guys, You good words really. South Sudan Government must have to correct that behavior.

    repondre message

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