UNMISS galvanizes youth participation in peacebuilding by training 60 students

Peace South Sudan UNMISS UN peacekeeping peacekeepers elections constitution peace ambassadors conflict management Rumbek durable solution

An UNMISS-led training on conflict management took place in Rumbek where 60 students learnt new skills to solve disagreements. Photo by James Mawien Manyuol/UNMISS.

27 Nov 2023

UNMISS galvanizes youth participation in peacebuilding by training 60 students

James Mawien Manyuol

LAKES – Against the backdrop of continuing conflict and political upheavals, South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, is approaching its first post-independence elections in December 2024.

For its long-delayed democratic transition to be successful, youth participation in reducing violence is essential.

To capture the power of young people as social transformers, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), through its Civil Affairs Division, recently hosted an interactive two-day workshop on conflict management for some 60 students drawn from different schools across Lakes state.

The aim: training youth to identify and find ways to peacefully ameliorate potential tensions as well as action reconciliation initiatives.

“As a student, I believe a harmonious society is what will enable us to take full advantage of our education and become productive members of society. Today, we have learnt how to positively manage conflicts and I am confident that these skills will help us be peace ambassadors in our communities,” said Suzan Yar, a student from Hope and Resurrection Secondary School in Atiaba.

Peter Mayen Makur, another 18-year-old student from the same school, said he believed that the proliferation of illegal weapons is vital for sustainable peace to prevail.

“As youth, we can serve our country by advocating for peaceful coexistence among our peers, especially those who may bear arms within cattle camps across the state. Unity is key for us to secure our future,” expressed Makur.

For Benjamin Makur Yuol, a Civil Affairs Officer with the UN Peacekeeping mission, educating pupils on managing differences can guarantee the success of the peacebuilding process.

“Engaging students in such events will help them approach disagreements differently and constructively. This initiative is a continuation of peace and human rights clubs established in different schools two years ago to promote social cohesion,” he stated.

Enoch Machuoc, the Education Director for Rumbek East county, agreed and urged participants to act as peacemakers in their schools and communities.

“Let us all embrace peace for a prosperous South Sudan and encourage our families to adopt the same positive approach in solving disagreements,” he concluded, while urging UNMISS to replicate such events more frequently.

Training sessions also covered basic concepts of human rights and child rights.