South Sudan

Youth urge peace in protection areas

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14 May 2014 - Marlin Gew urged communities, especially young people, to encourage peaceful coexistence within civilian protection areas in South Sudan at the conclusion of a two-day workshop today in the Upper Nile capital Malakal.

“My focus is my future as young girl in this country … I should learn to help my community,” said 18-year-old Ms. Gew, who missed her school certificate exam due to ongoing conflict in the country.

“War destroys our school, yet we should have hope for tomorrow,” she said.

Other youth at the training, which focused on reconciliation, conflict resolution, gender and human rights among youth in the UNMISS protection of civilians (PoC) area, called on participants to avoid harmful behaviour like excessive drinking of alcohol.

“Alcohol is source of instability within the POCs,” said participant Mun Koang Pouch. “It is important for each and every one of us within the camp to avoid such a practice.”

UNMISS Upper Nile State Coordinators Deborah Schein encouraged youth to continue urging peace among themselves, as the future of the young nation.

“We hope that all of you will resume your normal lives, whether it is schooling or other activities that may build your skills as young people,” Ms. Schein said. “We are here to help you with peace and security and we expect you also to help us in same way as youth.”

The training was among a series of workshops conducted by UNMISS Civil Affairs division targeting communities within PoCs. It brought together over 30 youth from different backgrounds.