South Sudan women demand inclusion in talks

January 9, 2014 4:33 pm
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Former Minister for Public Affairs in the country Josephine Abalang said that the women will furnish the dialogue with adequate information on actual situation on the ground/AFP FILE
Former Minister for Public Affairs in the country Josephine Abalang said that the women will furnish the dialogue with adequate information on actual situation on the ground/AFP FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 9 – A section of women from war torn South Sudan on Thursday called for inclusion in the ongoing peace talks in Addis Ababa Ethiopia between the warring factions.

Former Minister for Public Affairs in the country Josephine Abalang said that the women will furnish the dialogue with adequate information on actual situation on the ground.

“We as women are not in any way part of the ongoing negotiations in Addis Ababa and we want to play a part in saving our beloved country. We want an inclusive process to achieve sustainable peace for everybody in our country which ought to be the priority for the meeting,” she argued.

“As women, we have experienced the war and we believe we have insights to offer the delegations,” explained Abalang.

Speaking to the press on Thursday afternoon, a representative of the South Sudanese women in Kenya, Jacqueline Loromo affirmed the former legislator’s words calling for the immediate release of the political detainees as a first measure towards solving the stalemate.

Loromo added that relief for the displaced persons is running out warning that a speedy solution should be reached to avert more deaths in the country.

“Our president Salva Kiir should stop the ongoing killings in Juba and accelerate the release of our brothers and sisters who are political detainees.”

“Leaders from both sides should further show true leadership by stopping the bloodletting and displacement of innocent civilians and bring a swift end to the current crisis,” she said.

The representative further condemned the use of military force saying it is aggravating the situation.

“We deplore the continued presence of Ugandan troops in South Sudan and demand their immediate withdrawal in the interest of restoring trust in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) efforts,” Loromo explained.

The talks in the Ethiopian capital are aimed at ending three weeks of fighting that are feared to have killed thousands in the world’s newest nation.

“South Sudan deserves peace and development, not war,” Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom said at a ceremony to formally open talks on Saturday, which bring the government and rebel teams together.

“You should not allow this senseless war to continue, you need to stop it, and you need to stop it today – and you can.”

A rebel spokesman on Thursday indicated that there would be no imminent truce in the country unless the government frees a group of alleged coup plotters.

But mediators returning from Juba Wednesday said the detainees wanted a political solution to the crisis and did not want arguments over their liberation to block a potential ceasefire.

“The discussions have made progress on a proposed cessation of hostilities,” US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in Washington.

“Disagreements remain on the issue of the release of political detainees. Obviously, the discussions are continuing, but that’s where things stand at this moment,” she added.

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