26 March 2013

Sudan: Adhere to the Constitution, Lake State Student Tell Authorities

Rumbek — Students from South Sudan Lakes state, concerned by the increasing level of lawlessness in the region, have asked authorities to adhere to the country's transitional constitution while governing citizens.

The group, mainly comprising student leaders studying in Kampala, Uganda made the plea during a gathering held in the state capital, Rumbek Monday. The meeting, organised by youth entities from Lakes state's Cueibet, Yirol, Rumbek East, North and Central counties, followed the recent arrests of citizen, mainly young men, by state authorities.

Majority of those interviewed by Sudan Tribune, accused the state government of lacking respect for the youth, a practice they say is likely to undermine the integrity of South Sudan's ruling party (SPLM). The meeting ask state government to handle young men with proper respect and value them as future leaders of South Sudan then being treated with rush hours of martial law that undermine their integrity to South Sudan ruling party (SPLM).

Thon Machar Majak, the Secretary General of the students' unions in Uganda said they undertook the initiative to demonstrate to government the fundamental roles youth can play in efforts to build the state.

The youth in South Sudan account for nearly 70 percent of the country's population, according to the 2008 Sudan housing and population census. It defines a youth as anyone aged between18-45.

The meeting, whose agenda focused on conflict resolution, attracted various students from Lakes state, currently studying in Kampala. Also, discussed was the future of these students, many of who reportedly lack funds to complete their studies.

Foreign students currently enrolled in Ugandan universities, usually pay nearly double the fees their Ugandan counterparts give, research carried out by Sudan Tribune, shows. Meanwhile, Mandela Marial Makuong, the chairperson of Rumbek Youth Union, urged the students and Lakes state community in general, to promote peace and harmony in order to realise good governance.

"Students and entire communities of Lakes state should bind together for peace and prosperity for all," he said. Aton Mathiang Majok, his Cueibet Community Association counterpart, appealed to the youth fraternity to fight hunger in the state, through engaging in agriculture and not cattle raiding activities.

Ever since his appointment in January, Lakes state citizens have accused the acting governor, Matur Chut Dhuol, of his military approach to governance. Dhuol became governor after South Sudan president, Salva Kiir issued a decree relieving Chol Tong Mayay, who was elected in 2010.

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