S. Sudan’s Youth Forum Backs Elected Government

Vice President James Wani Igga, addressing the youth at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum on Monday. [Gurtong]

Addressing over a thousand youth during a public youth rally at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum in Juba on Monday, the chairperson of the Political Parties Youth Forum (PPYF) Agel Ring Machar said they reject any unconstitutional to takeover power

“Our country is in a critical time. Our country is divided by people who want to come to power by ways which are not constitutional. We totally reject this as the youth of all the 17 political parties in the country,” said Ring to a round of applause from the attentively listening youth.

He added: “We have an elected government whose term is not finished and we have a rebellion that has no objective whatsoever.  We are enlightened enough to know Salva Kiir is our democratically elected president.

“If you want to become president, you have all the lawful means. You don’t have to kill, loot and bring destruction for you to rule your people.  We reject violence and quarrel as the youth of South Sudan.”

The youth pledged to rally behind president Kiir, being the choice of more than 90% of the votes of the 2010 presidential elections.

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The youth support for president Kiir comes at a time the Juba government is faced renewed suspicion on the activities of  United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), a body they accused of taking sides with rebels as opposed to exercising neutrality. 

The youth carrying placards and manila papers called for replacement of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Hilde F. Johnson for allegedly acting partially in the ongoing political crisis in the country.

On Wednesday, government security agencies in Rumbek confiscated 12 UN trucks of general goods that turned out to be weapons, uniforms and blankets suspected to be destined for the rebels in Unity state.

UNMISS admitted the “error” and pledged to investigate it urgently but the youth demand a more decisive action on Ms Johnson. “The UN should discipline Ms Johnson and be replaced by another person who can do the job neutrally,” Ring said.

The vice president James Wani Igga, ministers of Cabinet and Information Martin Elia Lomuro and Michael Makuei respectively and the acting SPLM Party Secretary General Dr. Anne Itto attended the rally where for the first time the politicians had to sit in the sun while the youth sat under the shade of the pavilion.

The vice president hailed the youth for supporting the democratically elected government of Kiir as he urged them to unite and develop the country.

When the conflict broke out in Juba mid-December, the government blamed the ex-vice president Dr. Riek Machar for plotting a “Coup” against President Salva Kiir’s Government.  However, Dr. Riek said it was a presidential guards’ quarrel.

The conflict quickly spread to Bor, Bentiu, Malakal and the latest in Tonj North and East Counties of Warrap state.

Humanitarian Organizations have reported that over 1, 000 people lost their lives and over 800, 000 others have been displaced and others now taking refuge in UNMISS bases across the country as some have fled to neighbouring countries.

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