South Sudan stands at a precipice. Over three years of conflict has displaced 1.9 million people within South Sudan and caused another 1.8 million to seek refuge in other countries. 7.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and 100,000 people are at risk of death due to starvation. If the conflict continues at its current rate, half the population will have starved to death or fled the country by the end of 2017. The war has had a particularly devastating impact on women and children. 85% of displaced persons are women and children, and 72% of women living in United Nations displacement camps in Juba have been raped during the conflict.
During July 2017, a 13-person delegation from the South Sudanese Young Leaders Forum (SSYLF) will travel to Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Sudan to deliberate with regional leaders and the South Sudanese diaspora on the many political, economic, security and humanitarian crises confronting South Sudan.
The #NxGenSouthSudan campaign is a SSYLF initiative that aims to educate and mobilise the South Sudanese population and the IGAD region to end the conflict in South Sudan with the utmost urgency. The delegation will disseminate its message under the theme of #NxGenSouthSudan – a call to action for the next generation of South Sudanese leaders.
The SSYLF delegation aims to draw attention to the plight of the people of South Sudan and put forward concrete measures that can help to pull the country back from the brink. The time to act is NOW. Decisions that are made over the coming months will determine if South Sudan slips into another decades-long conflict or sets itself back on the road to peace. The people of South Sudan must come together with the support of their brothers and sisters in the region to stop the violence and find a political solution before it's too late.
In each location, the delegation intends to hold public events, consult with South Sudanese communities, meet with South Sudanese politicians, and hold bilateral meetings with regional policymakers, with the goal of bringing attention to issues affecting South Sudan. The regional consultation schedule is as follows:
6-10 July: Meetings and events in Nairobi, Kenya
10-14 July: Meetings and events in Kampala, Uganda
14-20 July: Meetings and events in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
20-26 July: Meetings and events in Juba, South Sudan