S Sudanese women demo to demand leaders end conflict

 S Sudan President Kiir Mayardit

S Sudan President Kiir Mayardit

South Sudanese women on Friday staged a peaceful procession while chanting slogan demanding the warring parties at the ongoing peace talks in Sudan and Uganda to end the more than four years of conflict.

 

Betty Sunday, a women leader, told Xinhua in Juba that the women in collaboration with civil society groups urged President Salva Kiir, rebel leader Riek Machar and other parties in the ongoing peace process to bring a lasting solution that will end the suffering of the citizens in the country.

 

“We are calling on the warring parties to listen to the voices of women, children and the elderly who have continued to bear the burden of the conflict and sign peace,” Sunday said.

 

She appealed to Kiir and Machar to seize the opportunity provided by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-led mediation to end the devastating conflict.

 

“I urged our leaders to compromise on their political interest and sign the peace agreement this month in order to bring a durable peace to the country,” she said.

 

Mary Justo Tombe, Information officer at the Women Monthly Forum, told Xinhua that it is unacceptable for women, children, the elderly and the disabled to continue bearing the burden and consequences of the conflict.

 

“We are demanding the parties to the conflict to have the political will and fully implement the ceasefire agreement as a way to restore everlasting peace in the country,” Tombe said.

 

The activist said the event was organised to send a clear message to the warring parties at the peace talks to respect the will of the people above personal and party’s interests.

 

She called on IGAD and international community to exert maximum pressure to the negotiating parties at the talks to sign a peace deal and hold them accountable for implementation of the peace agreement.

 

Last week, warring parties of South Sudan signed a deal on transitional security arrangements in Khartoum to pave the way for smooth implementation of the security sector during the transitional period.

 

South Sudan’s conflict that has now entered its fifth year since it erupted in 2013 after forces loyal to Kiir and his former deputy Machar engaged in combat.

 

The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital Juba, forcing Machar to flee into exile.  -Xinhua

 

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