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South Sudanese women launch campaign for peace

October 17, 2014 (JUBA) – A group of South Sudanese women leaders are organising a high-level public discussions to reiterate calls for the international community to ensure women fully participate in efforts to resolve the country’s ongoing conflict.

Priscilla Nyanyang closing a workshop in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, on 16 February 2012 (ST)

South Sudan for peace and development, in partnership with other women coalitions, is organising the public debate entitled “Women’s Action for Peace".

The event will reportedly provide stakeholders with first-hand accounts of the realities for women, and for their families and communities on the ground, as a means to foster effective dialogue and develop lasting solutions.

Priscilla Nyanyang, the lead coordinator of the event said women too play significant roles in conflict resolution and called on the warring parties to live up to their obligations and duties to protect the rights of women and children under their control.

“We have found out that women and the children are the victims. Women are the ones dying. The children are the one dying. Those who have been displaced are the women. It is the women who have lost their husbands. They are the ones who have lost their sons and daughters. They have lost their homes and other life supporting properties,” she said on Friday.

A former minister-turned activist, Nyanyang claimed there was a major disconnect between those involved in the process and the women.

“The two sides must listen to the voices on the ground and their actions must reflect the realities of the people to create long-term peace and foster sustainable progress,” she said.

Nyanyang claimed women were facing systematic exclusion from peace and transition processes as well as the post-transition decision-making structures.

“At this time more than ever, women need to see active models who are engaged in supporting and protecting them, from more police women on the ground to more women decision-makers lobbying for reform of discriminatory laws,” she said.

“South Sudanese leaders should learn from the experience of the other countries regards how the held talks which seek to address national matters and have women participate at the local levels politically,” she added.