South Sudan youth roll out campaign for peace
“We’re just tired of what’s going on in South Sudan. We want peace,” rap musician Lual swore, as Radio Miraya sampled the views of some young men and women campaigning for peace in the troubled country.
The organisers say the campaign, dubbed Anataban, provides a platform for ordinary people to make their voices heard and to draw attention to the suffering of the masses.
“The impact of things happening in Juba, the robberies, the insecurity … we’re all tired,” moans fellow campaigner Marina. “We need to tell a different story. We need to move on. We yearn for a lot of things, including peace, but nothing is forthcoming.”
Anataban harnesses the arts to promote dialogue in the communities through music, street theatre, sculpture, poetry and just about any form of expression that could strike a chord with the public at large, and the youth in particular.
“Most of us were born in war, raised in war and we’re now trying to die in war,” Lual laments. “We want a South Sudan that people could be proud of and don’t have to die. That’s why I joined Anataban.”
He believes he can bring the campaign great impetus as an artist and, more especially in view of his musical genre and the themes that resonate in his songs.
“I’m a rap artist and an activist at the same time,” Lual told Radio Miraya. “I talk about things that are not going well in South Sudan and I try to advise people through music.”
Marina, meanwhile, was quick to dismiss critics of the peace initiative, who express doubts about the possibility of any youth movement making an impact on the scheme of things in South Sudan.
“Every single citizen of this country has a role to play in creating positive change,” she countered, insisting that the call for change was by no means a call to violence. “Violence does not solve anything. If we can just sit down and talk matters out, things will change,” she reasoned.
Concurring, Lual urged even more forums outside Anataban in which the youth could come together to reflect on ways to forge peace in the country.
“We need to unite and not take sides with politicians who are trying to use us to do things in their own interest,” he cautioned. “We should just stand firm and say enough is enough and seek peace for South Sudan, the place we call home.”