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UNMISS hosts two-day youth forum on reconciliation and trauma healing in Malakal

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UNMISS hosts two-day youth forum on reconciliation and trauma healing in Malakal

Attending this workshop and having a safe space to discuss our problems, trauma and hopes with other young people is a very positive first step.

JUBA, South Sudan, October 11, 2021 / APO Group / –

With the signing of the revitalized Peace Agreement in 2018, South Sudan ushered in a new era of hope after the devastation caused by civil wars.

Today, 10 years after gaining independence from its northern neighbor, Sudan, the world’s newest country is on the verge of becoming a true democracy as it begins to draft a permanent constitution and prepare for it. historic elections.

However, continued subnational violence, the lack of development and the need for economic empowerment of young people have ensured that the scars of past wars are not healed.

Focusing on the innate power of young people to become agents of positive social transformation, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently collaborated with the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports of the Upper Region. -Nil to organize a two-day forum on reconciliation and trauma healing for 80 young people in Malakal.

The aim of the workshop was to bring young people together to deliberate on issues of reconciliation, the causes of trauma and the way forward to foster peaceful coexistence among them.

“Many of us were children when conflict erupted in our country,” says Both Kueth, a youth representative. “We heard the gunshots, lost family members and were moved from our homes. There are a lot of things we need to forget and forgive, but attending this workshop and having a safe space to discuss our problems, trauma and hopes with other young people is a very positive first step.

For Rasmal Amum, a priority is to forge relationships of trust between the displaced youth residing in the United Nations protection site here and the youth groups that belong to the town of Malakal.

“As young people, we are the backbone of this nation. We must leave internal conflicts behind and unite to work for the development of our country. Peace and development are two sides of the same coin.” Rasmal said eloquently.

Another important issue discussed at the forum was to avoid cultural practices such as early or forced marriages among underage girls.

“To build a strong South Sudan, girls and boys, women and men, must be equally educated and have the same opportunities,” said Rasmal.

For Khamis Mayom, director general of the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports, the most important thing is that young people become ambassadors of peace.

“All young people should build relationships with each other and not break them,” Mayom said, addressing the forum. “There is power in youth and there is power in unity. I hope you will all carry this message in your communities, promote peace and justice for all.

Jimmy Okumu, a civil affairs officer with the United Nations peacekeeping mission, said he felt richly rewarded seeing the high participation of young women in the workshop.

“Women constitute 50 percent of any society and in South Sudan, as we all know, 70 percent of the population is under the age of 30. Seeing so many young women participating in this forum with enthusiasm and determination to contribute to their communities is very gratifying for us, ”he said.

Upper Nile state has been one of the hardest hit areas in South Sudan since the outbreak of civil war in 2013, which tore the social fabric here. Peace and reconciliation, especially among the younger generation, are therefore essential to establish lasting peace here.

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