Probe into the youth grievances in Torit still ongoing, EES governor says NGO workers should remain in their houses
Eastern Equatoria State governor Louis Lobong Lojore while urging youth to exercise restraint, says humanitarian organizations will resume operations in Torit County as soon as a probe into youth grievances is completed.
Last Wednesday governor Lobong directed all United Nations agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations in Torit County to suspend operations for a week as it addresses the recent tensions between the youth (Monyiemiji) and humanitarian workers.
The growing tensions have led to the assault of humanitarian workers in the area as the youths complained of unfair employment in Torit, Ikotos, and Lopit areas.
In mid-April, the state government formed an eight-member committee to listen to the grievances raised by a youth group, Monyiemiji Forum.
According to the governor, while speaking in an interview with Radio Tamazuj, NCMP gathered the committee is still working. So for it to work effectively, they need to follow the law that guides the NGOs in the area. They need to engage officials in the ministry of labor. They will also identify how this committee should work with the NGOs and the UN. So the committee is still engaged in communications with the SSRRC office in Juba and the Ministry of Labor in Juba.”
The governor explained in the interview that the weak economy is a factor. He further broached that the government is unable to pay a good salary that can sustain the lives of the employees and yet the cost of living is high. So the only source that pays good money is the NGOs and everybody wants to work with NGOs.
He discouraged the youths from handling grievances themselves, rather he encourages them to consult the committee in charge. He further
“Anything that you want to bear good fruit, you need to go slow without causing any problem. Hurrying up and fighting will not bring any solution to any problem. Instead, it will increase the issue,” he added.
He emphasized that South Sudanese citizens have a right to live in any part of the country without victimization.
Responding to why youth would resort to such acts, Lobong said, “The first thing is that the economy of the country is still weak. Government is unable to pay a good salary that can sustain the lives of the employees and yet the cost of living is high. So the only source that pays good money is the NGOs and everybody wants to work with NGOs.”
Another reason he says, “Our South Sudanese youth are not initiators which means they don’t want to create work for themselves. The majority of them want to work with NGOs rather than engaging themselves in the private sector. Such as cultivation, business, laying bricks, and many things that can generate income. They only want to work in the office. Many foreigners are here and they got jobs to do and many more are trying their best to enter South Sudan so as to come and work. But our local youth don’t want to work.”
Governor Lobong says although the suspension would affect the vulnerable population, the life of humanitarian workers is equally vital.
“It will affect the vulnerable groups which used to get food rations from the UN,” he said. “But now, the lives of the NGOs staff are also very important. That is why we are trying to solve this problem within the given timeframe of seven days.”
The findings are expected this week.