The Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister, Ine Marie Eriksen talking to the women Monitoring R-ARCSS (Photo by Sheila Ponnie)

By Sheila Ponnie

The Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister, Ine Marie Eriksen has said that her country has donated $17.5 million dollars to the health care, food security and education sector in South Sudan.

Addressing women leaders monitoring the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement, she told them to be at the forefront to push for the full implementation of the accord.

Minister Eriksen also said that active involvement of women in the peace process was very important.

“Your active involvement on all thinkable levels is so important and I urge you to continue to do that. You also serve as a very good example not only in the region but also in other regions on how inclusive women could lead to good results,” Eriksen said.

She added that the women had a lot of responsibilities towards implementing the peace accord.

“The whole South Sudanese society of course must all agree including the government and the parties that women have a huge responsibility. We will stand by you in all your efforts,” she said.

Responding to questions raised by women representatives of different organisations, the Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister said that the Norwegian government would continue pushing for funding education and the fight against gender-sexual violence in South Sudan.

“I and the Norwegian government as a whole will continue in pushing decision-makers that are outside of this room. We will continue to give funding as we have always done and I think that is especially funding of everything from education to the fight against sexual and gender-based violence to training for peace. We have a whole range of things that we are funding in addition to humanitarian assistance and also health care programmes,” Eriksen revealed.

Lorna Merekaje, a member of the National Constitutional Amendment Committee said the celebration of the signing of the peace agreement had created a conducive atmosphere for the members of the National Pre-transitional Committee to meet in Juba including members of SPLM/A in opposition.

In her part, Chantal Niyokindi, the Senior Gender Advisor, JMEC said they observed that some progress have been made including declarations by parties and celebrations to mark the peace celebration.

“CTSAMVM has reported a marked decline in fighting across the country except in Yei River state where after declining to sign the R-ACRSS, a faction of SSOA that didn’t sign the agreement formed a new parallel alliance known as the South Sudanese opposition Alliance on the 2nd of October 2018”

Following the signing of the R-ARCSS, various steps have been taken towards the implementation of the peace agreement. This has included the establishment and re-constitution of various key institutions including the National Pre-Transitional Committee and the National Constitution Amendment Committee. These key institutions have recently held their inaugural meetings and South Sudanese women leaders need to take stock of where they are as it relates to the gender provisions of the peace agreement, particularly the adherence to the 35percent Affirmative Action and the overall commitment to peace.






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