South Sudan Deputy Minister on Tuesday urged women to push for more representation to influence the upcoming third round of peace revival talks in Ethiopia.
Deputy information minister Lily Albino said women have borne the brunt of the war in the country and should actively participate and be heard during resumption of the High-Level Revitalisation Forum (HLRF) mid-March mediated by the regional bloc IGAD in Ethiopia.
“Women are demanding 50-percent representation at the high-level revitalisation Forum from the previous 25 per cent under the 2015 peace agreement,” she said during the opening of the training for women on peace by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
She added that they are also demanding 35-per cent representation at the national dialogue conference.
According to UNMISS spokesperson Francesca Mold, the event will enable the over 150 participants to learn about the ongoing peace process and discuss ways to advance it.
Participants are expected to include women lawmakers from the Transitional Legislative Assembly (TLA), women academics and leaders from civil society as well as representatives of UNMISS’
UNMISS said proposals from the conference are expected to inform the position of women in the ongoing peace process.
“I hope that women will be able to take their position and express that position in one unified voice so that they will able to have solid outcome in this High-Level Revitalisation Forum by engaging closely with government, civil society and mediators,” said Kasumi Nishigaya, UNMISS Chief of Section and Gender Advisor.
South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013, after political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar led to fighting mostly between Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to Kiir against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.
The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital forcing Machar to flee into exile.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions that have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.
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Author: Our Correspondents