May 13, 2014 (JUBA) – The leaders of a South Sudanese women’s group have called on the government and rebels to cease hostilities and begin to implement the security deal signed by both parties on 9 May.
- The five-month-old conflict in South Sudan has had an enormous human cost, particularly on women and children (Photo: Simon Maina/AFP)
The group, which held their first meeting after the eruption of violence in last December, at the secretariat headquarters of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) on Monday, made the call after a one day consultative meeting which brought together representatives from different political parties and civil society organisation.
Nyankiir Malual, who spoke on behalf of the women representing other political parties, said it was time the rivals cease fighting to end the sufferings, displacement and more death.
Thousands have been killed and over one million displaced in the last five months
“Most of the victims" of the war are women and the children, she said, adding that it is imperative for the conflict to stop.
Ms. Malual said South Sudanese should show the rest of the world that they were genuinely appreciative of what God had done for them.
"It is such a wonderful thing for us South Sudanese to be able to come together for the first time after the current crisis to discuss issues which affects our people, especially the women and children. In our meeting, we have resolved to work together and stand together to wholeheartedly provide support to the leadership of this country, under President Salva Kiir Mayardit."
"We congratulate him for courage to sign a ceasefire agreement with those in the opposition because we want this war to stop, because most of the victims are women. They are the ones suffering now. It is the women who are being displaced and it is the women who have lost their husbands, children. They are the one bearing the brunt of suffering”, Malual explained.
Malual said it was important that the leaders show of example so that the ordinary continue to love one another.
"Let me thank the freedom fighters for the choice of the country which means the land of God," she said.
The woman leader encouraged people to participate in the governance of the country in order to sustain the declaration and the benefits of being an independent state.
Malual said she was hopeful and expressed confidence about the future of the young nation and expressed excitement about the prosperity of the country, and sure that unity was going to guide South Sudanese a people.
Meanwhile, the acting Secretary General of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Anne Itto, said it was not a policy of her party to kill in order to get to power or remain in power.
"I think that we have struggled for a long time as South Sudanese. We struggled in our attitudes towards one another, hatred, vengeance, bitterness and retribution. We need to rest from all that. We need to create a new country, where for a change we can concentrate on developing ourselves, as a people to ensure that our children are educated. To make sure that our mothers are taken care of," said Itto.
"It’s about time to break away from the old politics of hatred, bitterness and all that so that we can concentrate on what we are; to develop the country and that is to accept the fact that we are one people."
Itto said people might differ regarding policies but they were one and must move together.