AU diplomat visits Rumbek, inspects assorted riffles disarmed from civilians

African Union Commission Chairperson’s Special Envoy on Youth, Ms Aya Chebbi ​upon arrival in Rumbek on November 1, 2020 |Photo: Thessherald
          Press Release 

November 1, 2020 (Thessherald)–The governor of Lakes State, Hon Makur Kulang Liei has welcomed the delegation from Juba led by Ms. Aya Chebbi, the African Union special Envoy on Youth Affairs.

The delegation includes two national Ministers of Labour and Youth and Sports, Hon. James Hoth Mai and Hon. Dr. Albino Bol Dhieu respectively.

In his keynotes speech, Governor Makur appreciated the delegation for choosing Rumbek to celebrate the African Youth day.

He appreciated the moral support given to his leadership by National government officials.

Hon. Makur called on African Special envoy on youth to let her Union work harder to provide the jobs to the Youths in Africa.

Speaking during the occasion, Ms Aya appreciated the hospitality accorded to delegation and her by the government and the people of Rumbek.

She reiterated her Union readiness to create opportunities for the Youth. Chebbi called upon Hon. Governor Makur to include youths in his coming leadership. The special envoy called on youth to move away from being tomorrow leaders to become today’s leaders.

Ms. Aya appreciated the youths of Lakes State for voluntarily handing over their guns peacefully.

She visited the guns collected site in State house where she was shown 1,565 different firearms in the stores.

The national Minister for Labour and war veteran Gen. James Hoth Mai appreciated Hon. Governor for implementing what the leadership requires from him in regards to Rumbek situation. Hon. Minister cautioned youth to make use of skills they acquired from different training institutions .

The Minister directed the Director General in the State Ministry of labour to implement 80% jobs employment to the local Citizens.

In his key words, Dr Albino Bol of Youths and Sports Ministry appreciated the governor for playing a big role in fighting insecurity in Lakes State.

The Minister urged Agar community and Lakes State at large to desist from baseless feuds which have derailed their Unity.

He said youths in Lakes State should refrain from being violence perpetrators to be peace ambassadors.
He added that his Ministry is looking forward to working with international partners to create jobs for the youth in private sector.

The 26-member delegation has left for Juba after a fruitful day in Rumbek.

Mayor Muou Adhor ,
Press secretary,
Office of the governor,
Lakes State-Rumbek

Simon Marot explains his first meeting with Kiir and what happened next

President Salva Kiir Mayardit meeting African Union Youth Envoy Ms Aya Chebbi and the AU youth advisory council and South Sudan youth leader Simon Marot TouloungInternet | Photo: Bwettephotohraphy

July 28, 2020 (Thessherald)–On the 25th of July 2019, when we met the President of the Republic of South Sudan, I had so many unanswered questions. Till this day, these questions make me crazy.

The first toughest encounter was at the office. After greeting him with one Hand (Something he never expected maybe from a Small Guy) which I believe was the right thing to do, Mr. President in his speech/intervention lamented that, South Sudanese youth have adopted bad cultural Practices from the Neighboring countries. Most of these young men and women grew up in East Africa and they come home with all these different cultures. They need to learn our cultures and adjust to it. I still do not know who messed up the “said culture” the young or the old. If he meant the Nilotic culture of respecting the elders, he would have not handed his hands to me. He would have placed it on my face/head as a sign of pouring blessing upon the young ones or perhaps shower my head with some saliva. Let me end this here, as I do not want to go one-on-one with the President of the Republic.

Hours later, when the Presidential Press Unit shared the story on their Facebook page, something striking suffice. The members, I do not know if it was the norms, cropped my damn picture out and share only the then Minster of Youth, Culture and Sports, the AU Youth Envoy’s Picture. When I saw this, I said to myself, the ride for a conducive and welcoming environment in South Sudan is surely rough and still long. I said that because I knew the people behind the page were young people or semi-young people at least (those below 40 years in South Sudan). What they did was not from a big man. They were not paid or instructed to crop that picture I believed. I think thy just had a feeling that I was not part of the people in the room.

With that in mind, I think we should cease from calling the sunset generation in South Sudan as the sole contributors to the mess in our country. They had their part but the biggest shareholders now are we the youth. If we hear of our men or women (Activists) arrested, they are not arrested by a 50 years old or a 70 years old Minister in the sitting government, the young men are behind this. Some are directed, while most generate all these reports to look good in front of their big men. When you want to see a minister, governor or the commissioner of your area, the people who say Bany OR Kuar is making a phone call or meeting someone are your age mates not these old men. How this can be solved will come from all of us I guess.

Interestingly, as the photos were circulating on Social media with different interpretation of the looks from the President, I was receiving phone calls from very many young men in Juba. Most of the callers were congratulating me for meeting the president. I do not know why this had to be treated a success, Why congratulate a fella? Did I just land the managerial role of Nilepet? No!

Just a handshake with the President. Our leaders have become so rare that when you meet one, the others will look at you like someone who made it in life. They have created all these barriers to make themselves look so expensive in the eyes of the public even when we call them Public Servants. How do you serve the Public in offices? My cousin who was the second caller made my day. He said “Mubruk, your problems are now all settled. All your issues are now sorted. When should I come for my share? You should make me your driver after two weeks.” Is this because most people who meet the head of State ask for some support? Is it because of the “yellow Envelope” that is dubbed HANDSHAKE?

In a country of about 11 million people, if we all meet the big man one at a time, and ask for a car, or some money, how much would the country gain in building some public institutions? Our masses should know that for every 10 Dollar that our leaders hand to us in cash, they bill the national account 100,000 US Dollar or more against your name. That mean 10-20 primary schools will be pocketed in the name of Handshake. IS this not a lost to the Nation and the generation to come?

Lastly, around 8pm, when the TV crew, the great men at SSBC aired the story. My head was off the TV screen. I think the team behind the camera were not sure of how to politely tell someone that they are not needed in a press briefing. If they had an idea, they were not going to chop off my head in the interviews. But since they had no idea, they went ahead to do the hustle. When I was asked, why my head was not appearing, I told my guys, maybe I was too tall. Probably taller than “Mr. Long Body” the Presidential guard whose face never missed in all of his interviews. One of the TV News anchor happened to be my former schoolmate. When he saw me coming out from the presidential office, I saw some changes in his face. He asked me, one question (Why are you here and why the visit?) more than 3 times in a space of 5 minutes, meaning he lost concentration and had something disturbing him. Our last group photo with the President is nowhere to be seen till this day. Maybe we will have it one day.

All in all, the take away from this interaction to me were these;

  1. The President was open and very honest in his response. He admitted a lot of things happening in the country and wanted solutions to the unrest. I do not know if it was the “AU tag” that the Envoy seem to have move with or something else.
  2. When leaders chose to meet people selectively and make themselves rare in the public eye, they lose touch with the masses/realities. It is them who miss a lot and not the people. Public servants should meet their people regularly. That is why, I am thinking of “After 5 O’clock Stories/Dialogues with the Commissioner” in Mayom County so that people do not have to struggle lining up in the Slim Commissioner’s office with aim of shaking hands. It will be after 5 pm daily so that we do not waste time for service delivery in talks.
  3. Much as we are saying the young people are the change, we should not stop there. Young people should as well change and adopt moral characters that are in line with the change they seek to see. It is not good to expect the gifts of Abel from our leaders/elders when we are offering Cain’s gifts. You are either Abel or Cain, you can’t be both. We should not be confirming Shakespeare’s observation, “I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, then be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching.”
  4. The journey to a beautiful South Sudan start with a well-nourished brain. If our minds are not properly fed, we will not

imagine beauty well. We might arrive at the destination we are looking for and not recognize it. As we shall be busy with taking town to the People. Let us support each other and be our “brothers’ / sisters’ keepers” always.

Simon Marot Touloung, is an active Youth Leader and Co-founder of the South Sudan Science Club (SSSC) whose main focus is environmental protection and Climate Change. He was a co-founder and Program Manager for African Youth Action Network –AYAN in Kiryandongo refugee settlement, Uganda.

Note: The views expressed in the ‘Opinion’ section are sole responsibility of individual authors and will take full responsibility, liability and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The South Sudan Herald is not liable for any comment submitted by individuals and reserves the right to delete any opinion piece for any reason whatsoever.

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Defining the roles of youth in society when it comes to nation-building

Opinion | By: Cde Simon Char

June 23, 2020 (Thessherald)–Youthfulness is the inner strength not to stagnate or resistant to change but to stay open to new possibilities, it’s the power of the spirit that refuses to succumb to complacency and strives ever forward.

We are over 50% in South Sudan population with aspirations and experiences in our own rights to take what is within our grasp to build a better South Sudan, this is the power hold as young and future leaders.

Reimagine the world with tenacity innovation and courage to disrupt every cycle that yields negative results for youth because the future needs passionate, happy and confident young leaders who are willing to challenge what’s obstacle to their ambitions in taking country to what it people expect and deserve by standing up for conviction.

We are the period in which a man can be hopeless because every end of episode is the end of the world but the power of hoping through everything is the knowledge that the soul survives its adventure, that great inspiration comes to middle ages ( Youth ) therefore we are the hope of country’s future for lasting peace, stability and sustainable development due to fact that everything is possible and everything can be possible through our ability and confident as the future of this great country is in our hearts and minds.

My fellow youth we will have our own trials and temptations through which we must pass because there are great moments of eternity which lie a head, but our love, peace and confident to build this great country South Sudan is our main task and make it beautiful and peaceful to it’s Citizens.

Let’s pray that we will be prepared for the reins of leadership and arise and shine forth to be the light unto South Sudan by keeping the spirit of love and togetherness among us.

Let’s work together in putting the suffering of our people to an end because we are elders of tomorrow of this great and promises land by mitigating both Communal and political differences aside and promote peace, love and togetherness as the only solution for our wellbeing because the wisdoms of the wise and experiences of the ages is on us, let’s strongly united and truthful humble to face challenges and be the change with out losing hope in creating opportunities, be mature enough to deal with the things against our wellbeing.

We are the only change and future of next coming generations, so let’s make our whole country proud of us as we are always temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite and the adventure over the live of peace and unity in South Sudan. Lastly we are the only hope for peaceful South Sudan

The author is a concerned citizen, and he’s reachable via his email at

Note: The views expressed in the ‘Opinion’ section are sole responsibility of individual authors and will take full responsibility, liability and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The South Sudan Herald is not liable for any comment submitted  by individuals authors and reserve the right to delete any opinion piece for any reason whatsoever.

Should you wish to submit your opinion piece or analysis, kindly contact us at: