Concerned over the stand-off in the implementation of the different political and socio- economic agreements that were signed between the two countries, a coalition of women leaders in Sudan and South Sudan has decided to come together to promote peace for the benefit of the citizens of the two neighboring states.
Under the theme "Women shaping peace in Sudan and South-Sudan," 22 delegates of a coalition that is comprised of 11 women from each of the two countries met in Addis-Ababa between Jan. 19 and 22, in the run-up to the 20th African Union (AU) Summit, to "define the common priorities for the future and the peaceful coexistence between the two countries."
"We have decided to come together to support the cooperation agreements. We are interested to participate in the peace process. This is why we came here in Addis-Ababa where we have met with officials of the AU Commission and the special envoys of Norway and the U.S.," the head of the South-Sudan's women delegation, Sarah James Awel, told Xinhua on Friday.
The coalition of women leaders in Sudan and South Sudan is an organization that was created in 2006, after the peace agreements that were signed between the Khartoum government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM).
"Initially, we were meeting very frequently. But this is the first time we are meeting since South-Sudan's independence in 2011, " Awel said while also denouncing the exclusion of women in the initiatives to seek for peace between the two countries.
The coalition which supports the implementation of the different agreements in order to normalize relations between the two countries, is demanding that women should be given 25 percent of decision-making positions in the peace process.