South Sudan youth target Kiir ouster in mass protests

By Theeastafrican.co.ke (JOHN ADUKATA)

A man carries the South Sudan flag at Magateen Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) centre during the visit of the country’s vice president in Juba on November 17, 2018. South Sudan youth led by South Sudanese for Change are mobilising for nationwide protests starting May 15, 2019 to unseat President Salva Kiir.

Emboldened by sustained mass protests that ousted long serving presidents Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria and Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, South Sudan youth plan similar action in Juba next week with the stated aim of unseating President Salva Kiir.

In a mobilisation that is gathering pace on social media the youths plan to turn out in Juba on May 15 and 16 to launch nationwide protests against the government which they accuse of failing to restore permanent peace and stability in the war-torn state.

They also accuse the state of killing activists, journalists and civilians deemed critical of the government.

Other grievances include corruption, poor governance and gross human rights violations committed by government soldiers and rebels during the war.

Responding to the threats South Sudan Information Minister on Tuesday Mr. Michael Makuei Lueth warned that any protests in the city will be resisted by the government.

He said the agitation by the youth was part of a plot by foreign instigators who he did not name to depose President Kiir’s government.

“Let the youth not copy what is happening in other countries,” said Mr Makuei before poignantly adding: If they are ready to die we will see,”

He said there were companies and organizations, including embassies of foreign countries, who were giving the youth money to protest “like what happened in Sudan.”

“We have an idea about this and we know who they are. If people return to war, they (youth) will die. So, we don’t want them (youth) to die again,” Mr. Makuei told the press in Juba.
Messages spread on social media from Monday with activists calling for all youths in the country to stand up for their rights and those of South Sudanese people.

The mobilisation is led by a group calling itself the South Sudanese for Change.

The calls for protests came after South Sudan arch-rivals President Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar agreed to delay the formation of a unity government by six months to November.

The outrage grew after a UN Panel of Experts reported two prominent South Sudan activists Mr. Dong Samuel Luak, a human rights lawyer and opposition politician Aggrey Izbon Idri were killed in January 2017 after they were abducted in Nairobi, Kenya.

Intelligence sources later told Africa Review that the activists bodies were dumped in Achwa River. The UN team blamed the National Security Service (NSS) for the killings.

The incident has attracted fierce condemnation from human rights groups locally and abroad while the international has urged President Kiir to end impunity in South Sudan.

That is not to say such groups and the international community would back the youths in their protest.

The world appears increasingly focused on finding lasting piece in the country by reconciling President Kiir and Dr Machar, who also condemned the activists killings.
The Special Representative of the UN secretary general in South Sudan David Shearer said the two rivals should meet regularly to earnestly supervise the implementation of the pre-transitional issues within the extended six months.

The United Nations (UN) has suggested a regular meeting between South Sudan arch-rivals (President Salva Kiir and former rebel leader Dr Riek Machar) to salvage and show hope of assurances to South Sudanese people on the sustainability of peace.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in South Sudan Mr. David Shearer said the two leaders should earnestly supervise the implementation of the pre-transitional issues within the extended six months period by holding regular meetings.

“There is need to have regular meetings between President Kiir and Riek Machar to review the progress. That will build trust and confidence and extend a signal to South Sudanese that the agreement is on track,” he said in a statement.

He said the unanimous agreement on the delay was “a sign of goodwill between the parties to end the suffering of their people.” he added.

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Nigeria: Dalung warns youths as athletes chase N10m in Anti-Corruption Marathon

By Emmanuel Afonne

Minister of Youth and Sports Development Solomon Dalung has urged Nigerian youths to channel their energy to sports rather than engaging in vices that will be hazardous to their health and society.

Dalung gave the advice in Abuja on Tuesday at the opening of registration for the 2019 National Anti-Corruption Marathon scheduled to hold in Abuja on Dec. 9.

The minister who was represented by Mr Bamiduro Olumide, an Assistant Director in the ministry noted that the youth can make a living in sports.

“I will like to commend you because the competition has something that this government is interested in.

“We are glad that we are going to be part of it and I believe that this event will stand the test of time.”

Coordinator of the event Mr Jacob Onu said about N10million would be carted away by athletes at the event which would coincide with the United Nations (UN) Anti-corruption Day.

Onu noted that winners of the male and female categories would pocket N1 million each, while first and second runners up would go home with N750,000 each and N500,000 each respectively.

He said arrangements had been made to use the platform, which is expected to attract about N50,000 athletes, to create awareness on government’s anti-corruption fight.

“It is aimed at eulogising the anti-corruption crusade of the Federal Government through the relevant anti-corruption agencies to mark the UN Anti-corruption Day which holds on Dec. 9 every year.

“The overall intention of the marathon is to create awareness on the danger of corruption to our existence as a people and society at large.

“The general public is free to participate and it’s taking place on Dec. 9 and coinciding with the UN day for anti-corruption.

“The registration is free and open to all citizens of Nigeria. The registration is also for those that did not register online in the previous edition.

“But those that registered online during the maiden edition in 2018 will be contacted and informed when to come for accreditation before the race in December,” Onu said.

According to Onu, the organiser is working in collaboration with the anti-corruption agencies like EFCC, ICPC, Code of Conduct Bureau and Kano State Anti-Corruption Commission.

Other partners are the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), National Orientation Agency (NOA) and Bureau of Public Service Reform.

The Rwandan High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Stanislas Kamanzi, said his country was aligning itself to the marathon competition because of President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance on corruption.

“I want to commend the government of Nigeria for having embarked on this important venture of eradicating corruption.

“Fighting corruption involves all hands to be on deck and that is what the marathon is all about – mobilising athletes and participants to key into the campaign against corruption.

“The talk about corruption doesn’t concern only those in positions whether private or government, but rather it involves the general public.

“When you see corruption and fail to denounce it, you are an accomplice; so, perspective of the marathon is to ensure that the messages are relayed properly as per what the issues are and the need to tackle them.

“Corruption generates poverty; we commend President Buhari and his government for initiating this corruption war.

“No wonder African Presidents and Heads of Government designated him as the champion for the fight against corruption in the continent; so, he deserves the support of all,” Kamanzi said.

Source NAN