By Gracie Aguil
South Sudan has for years seen continuous increase of cattle raids, revenge killings, land grabbing and insecurity concerns. It is assumed that the perpetrators of most of these acts are the idle youth, constituting to over 73% of the population. Young people lacking sustainable sources of incomes has contributed to their continued involvement in cattle raiding and land grabbing. With many active roots of cattle raiding across all states, most South Sudanese cultures and traditions consider this as an economic activity and guns as a means of acquiring wealth.
Could we add that this is part of the reason why disarmament has not been successful over the years?
To be able to take guns from there hands of the youth, the government, the International and Regional communities have to offer an alternative. Replace the guns with Agricultural tools, skills and hybrid seeds, replace the guns with pens and books through education and capacity building activities, replacing the guns with microfinance loans to help foster innovations and self-sufficient income-generating projects among the youth. Because to truly disarm the youth of South Sudan, they have to disarm their minds.
During a workshop held by UNMISS that brought together youths from all the ten states and the three administrative areas of South Sudan on the Role of Youth in Peacebuilding, the strategic action plans developed by the youths from all the regions of South Sudan, were all coming down to the dire need from the youth to be united through economic activities and trade. This would play a huge role in disarming the minds of young people and therefore playing a great role in nation building and sustainable peace