UNDP Graduates 200 Youth Formerly Armed or Associated with Armed Groups in Rumbek, Lakes State

April 25, 2024

Graduated Youth Formerly Armed or Associated with Armed Groups in Rumbek


On 12th September 2023, the BCSSAC with support from UNDP launched an orientation workshop for 200 youth who voluntarily surrendered their weapons to the Government of Lakes State and the BCSSAC, with support from UNDP, to launch the youth into vocational skills training. UNDP, in partnership with the BCSSAC and the Vocational Skills Development Organization (VOSDO), completed the alternative livelihood skills training for the 200 youth on 30th January 2024. 

22 female, 178 male received skills training on commercial farming (livestock training), hospitality, hotel and retail shop management, welding and metal fabrication, brick laying and concrete practice, tailoring, carpentry, joinery, solar repair, and installation. This will improve economic productivity of women and youth in Cueibet, Yirol East, Yirol West, Rumbek Central, Awerial, Wulu, Rumbek North and Rumbek East counties.  The pilot project has significantly reduced the number of women and youth carrying arms in Lakes State. 

The overall objective of the pilot voluntary civilian disarmament initiative in Lakes State is to deliver quality vocational skills training, value chain, entrepreneurial skills services that will lead towards youth employment, small and micro enterprise development, and income generation. The voluntary civilian disarmament pilot initiative aims to contribute to raising the availability of quality demand-driven vocational skills needed in the labor market, as well as, in the development of the entrepreneurship culture and enhance market-linked skills among youth on agriculture and natural resource value chain through private sector or small and micro enterprise development.

During the event


On 16th April 2024, the BCSSAC, VOSDO, UNDP and the Government of Lakes State graduated the 200 youth who successfully completed the 6-month vocational skills training, and encouraged them to disengage from rearming themselves, and utilizes the skills training and start-up kits provided for each skills area to improve their income. Youth who selected the livestock training were given two goats each to start livestock farming. Those that selected carpentry and tailoring for example were also provided with tools and equipment to start their own production. 

The Hon. Minister of Labor of Lakes State – Hon. David Chol in his speech mentioned that ‘’ it was a good practice that gender equality and social inclusion was factored into the pilot voluntary civilian disarmament project’. The Minister of Labor also added that UNDP and partners should consider scalability of this important project in Lakes State. The Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports of Lakes State – Hon. William Koji in his speech appreciated SIDA, UNDP, the BCSSAC and VOSDO for supporting the educational development of youth through vocational skills training. He mentioned that his Ministry will continue to work in collaboration with the BCSSAC, and the Ministry of Peacebuilding to ensure that firearms in the hands of unauthorized persons are collected peacefully. 

The Minister further condemned all form of community violence, rape, robbery and killing in Lakes State and discouraged the youth from re-arming themselves after their graduation. The Hon. Minister of Cabinet Affairs – in his capacity as representative of the Governor of Lakes State - Hon. Rin Tueny Mabor appreciated SIDA and UNDP for giving start-up kits to the youth. The Hon. Minister of Cabinet Affairs in his closing remarks encouraged the youth by making comparisons of the potential frequent earning power of entrepreneurs, as compared to Ministers serving in government. The 200 youth expressed their appreciation to SIDA, UNDP, the BCSSAC and VOSDO for giving them the skills, as well as empowering them with the necessary tool kit to kick-start production of livelihood. 

In Lakes State, a South Sudan government-owned Voluntary Civilian Disarmament initiative was piloted by the Bureau for Community, Security and Small Arms Control (BCSSAC), with support from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) between August 2023 – January 2024. SIDA has been instrumental in assisting the Bureau for Community, Security and Small Arms Control (BCSSAC) implement a pilot South Sudan Voluntary Civilian Disarmament initiative in Lakes State. The pilot phase reached 250 households who voluntarily handed over their weapons to the government of Lakes State, in exchange for support packages.