Revitalized peace agreement finds ambassadors at Juba University
South Sudan’s revitalized peace agreement has found 140 enthusiastic ambassadors at the University of Juba, following a training workshop that had them mastering the contents of the agreement.
“We the citizens of South Sudan are tired of wars, this time around we want the agreement to hold,” said Santalesia Arol Deng, one of the students attending the training workshop. “The previous agreement we had little knowledge about it,” she added, explaining why the workshop was so important to her.
Organized by the University of Juba, College of Social and Economic Studies, with support from the United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the workshop sought to create public awareness, share experience, and increase understanding of the revitalized peace agreement, with participants taking the knowledge to their communities.
“We expect possible case scenarios on challenges, strengths, and opportunities during implementation of the revitalized agreement to be explored and shared with relevant stakeholders, especially policy makers and the civil society,” noted Doctor Abraham Kuol Nyuon, an Assistant Professor from the University of Juba’s Department of Political Science, as he explained the contents of the 120-page document to the eager students.
More light was shed on the key issues of governance/power sharing and the security arrangements, which are quite varied from the previous agreement.
“This is not the first time such a peace agreement is signed. I have to participate in this workshop since it is a bit different from the previous one, to be able to [understand it and then] create awareness among my folks,” said John Akot Akot, a student of political science, referring to the steps that were taken to conclude the peace agreement in the three neighbouring capitals of Khartoum, Kampala and Addis Ababa.
Also in attendance as the nitty- gritty details of the peace agreement were broken down into easily digestible bits were politicians, including Achuil Malith, an advisor of the SPLM political party. He was grateful that such training sessions were taking place, and especially starting with students.
“You have to be part of the shaping of the revitalized peace agreement. Thanks to the United Nations in South Sudan (UNMISS), in supporting students to spread this agreement, you can use social media to achieve this goal,” he said, urging the participants to always utter the right things at the right time.
The workshop brought together mainly third- and second-year students from the University of Juba’s departments of Economics, Political Science, Sociology and Social Anthropology, and Statistics and Demography, who were joined by Pakeer Youth Association for development (PYAD) – a youth civil society organization.
“We encourage young people to be interested in the peace process and learn information that can help equip them. We believe by the end of the workshop the students will have a bigger part to play in contributing to the understanding of the peace agreement,” said Ndubisi Obiorah, a senior Political Affairs officer, acknowledging the good job the presenters at the event undertook in analyzing the revitalized peace agreement.
A series of events and similar workshops are planned across South Sudan in the coming days to create more awareness about the revitalized peace agreement, in the hope that wider understanding of its contents will contribute to a lasting peace that the people of South Sudan have been yearning for.