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South Sudan youth embrace dialogue as means to solve conflict

JUBA, (Xinhua) -- South Sudan youth have resorted to dialogue geared towards promoting peace and addressing gender-based violence.

Philip Malaal Chol, the Executive Director for Grand Debaters’ Association (GDA), told Xinhua on Saturday evening in Juba that the initiative is to engage youth and local communities to end violence in the strife torn East African Nation.

“The launching of the grand junior parliament has created a forum that allows young people and all the vulnerable groups to debate on issues that affect them,” Chol said.

The launch ceremony that brought more than 400 students from 16 secondary schools was organized by the Grand Debaters’ Association and sponsored by the United Nations Women Organization.

It was launched under the theme “Empowering youth to embrace peaceful coexistence, harmonized cultures and enhance their engagement on ending violence in South Sudan.”

Chol said the platform is helping young people become proactive in building peace and campaign to end gender based violence

Lian Biar Kuolirot, speaker of the grand junior parliament, said that youth engagement on issues that matters to them and that of their country is the genesis of achieving sustainable peace.

“It is the young people to work for peace, therefore, justice, liberty and prosperity we have to collectively dialogue to live in peace,”she added.

John Gai Yoah, South Sudan’s Presidential Advisor on Education Affairs, said the grand junior parliament forum is a unique way of engaging young people on how to participate in reconstruction of the country.

“I believe all the secondary schools in the country will adopt the idea as a way to motivate more young people in the principle of peace and addressing girl-child education in the country,” Yoah said.

South Sudan’s conflict that has now entered its fifth year erupted in 2013 after forces loyal to Kiir and his former deputy engaged in combat.

The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when rival factions resumed fighting in the capital, Juba, forcing Machar to flee into exile.

Millions of South Sudanese civilians have sought refuge in neighboring countries as the conflict rages on despite attempts by international players to end it.


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