SOUTH SUDAN: Women Hold a Nationwide Peaceful Demonstration

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The Citizen (Juba)
Eastern Africa
S. Sudan
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Peace Processes

South Sudanese women yesterday hold a peaceful nationwide demonstration against Khartoum's continuous aggressions and bombardment of territories within their country as a result leading to deaths of innocent women and children. They carried slogans which read: “Stop killing women and children”.

Hundreds of women including those with disabilities marched from Dr. John Garang Mausoleum to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) headquarters in Jebel Kujur yesterday to present their petition to the office of Representative of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in South Sudan. The petition letter to the UN chief was received on behalf of the representative Madame Hilde Johnson by senior official Paul Egunsola.

The women however said they were in full support of President Kiir's decision to withdraw SPLA troops from Panthou (Hegilg) and administration police from Abyei in order to allow dialogues and negotiations between the two countries to begin. They urged the two countries to return to the negotiating table and resolve the remaining issues through dialogue and mark an end to the border hostilities because these have destabilized the economies of the two countries.

“We women of south Sudan want peace and we stand behind our President's decision to withdraw troops from Panthou and Abyei. “We want peace, no more war,” read of the slogans.

The peaceful demonstration by participants from all ten states of South Sudan was organized by the Ministry of Gender and Child Social Welfare, civil societies, human rights groups and central Equatoria State women union.

The hundreds of women pleaded to the United Nations Security Council to look for ways to stop Khartoum to stop its aggression toward South Sudan and to stop its aerial bombardments of civilian territories of South Sudan and to force it to return to the negotiating table in Addis Ababa

The women also urged the international community and the United Nations to apply sanctions to any country which does not respect the international treaties of which they are member states.

Hundreds of women yesterday strongly pleaded to both governments of the republic of South Sudan and the government of Sudan to return to the negotiating table and resolve their outstanding issues through peaceful ways and not war.

They raised their concerns that the war does harms more to the women and children since they will be left orphans and widows with no fathers and husbands and gives rise to poverty. The women further said the government should involve them in the process of negotiations and dialogue in the country.

The UN chief of staff Paul Egunsola appreciated the women efforts to encourage peace through a peaceful demonstration and promised to delivery their petition to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. He acknowledged that the South Sudan government complied with AU and UNSC demands to withdraw police from Abyei to allow dialogue to take its course.