Sudanese women demand full participation in Juba peace talks

By: Sheila Ponnie         

The Sudanese women taking part in the Juba peace talks said they have been ignored by the mediators.

The women from different fields of expertise said their participation in the talks have been limited by the mediators.

The women said they were only allowed to raise their concerns to the parties separately but when they go inside the mediation room, their views were not take into consideration.

 The activists, who have been part of the talks said they want to raise the voice of the voiceless and to monitor the peace talks and support women who have fallen victims of war, especially those who have been raped and sexually harassed.

Speaking to Juba monitor on Saturday, Representative of Nonviolence and Conflict Transformation, Randa Mohammed said women activists have been passive participants to the current talks in Juba.

“We don’t participate in the talk directly. We have come here to raise the voices of the voiceless in the conflict area, especially women who have been raped and sexually harassed,” said Randa. 

“We only meet the parties to the agreement to give our views and opinions concerning the women but we don’t fully participate in the talks like any other women in mediation room,” she lamented.

There are more than seven opposition groups taking part in the talks in Juba including Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) lead by Dr. Alhadi Idris Yahya and SPLM-N.

Randa noted that the women Activists want to make sure that the victims of rape and sexual harassment get justice, adding that the culprits must be brought to book.

She emphasized that they (women) know the weakness of the parties to the agreement and their participation would make it strong.

The women also demand that the peace talks should be able to include women to be part of the peace implementation and also monitor the peace talks.

“We want the women to be part of the parliament whether in the state or national,” she said.

She added that the women want the re-arrangement of the military forces in Sudan in order to reduce crimes.

“We also want women inclusivity and equality in the society. Women should be given their rights for education and to be participants in politics,” she said.    

She said there is no gender balance adding that women were not included in the Sudan peace agreement.

 According to the women, they want an independent media that will not be biased to reflect women’s issues.

They also want women to be given equal rights to own land and other property.

Mohammed said that they also want the government to ratify all the international treaties such as the UN Women Resolutions that promote women’s agenda.

The UN Security Council resolution 1325 calls for the adoption of a Gender perspective to consider the special needs of women and girls during conflict, repatriation and resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction.

Following the transfer of power from the translational Military Council to the Sudan Sovereign Council, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir hosted talks in Juba.

The first track of the direct peace talks started on the 14th of October and was mediated by Kiir in 2019.

However, allegations of military attacks on Sudanese rebel groups suspended peace deal.

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