UN commits to support women in South Sudan

UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed (R) and AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Benita Diop (L) at UNMISS on Wednesday (Photo by David Mono Danga):

By David Mono Danga

The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed has committed to support the women and children of South Sudan, asking them to “keep hope alive”.

In a press conference held at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Wednesday to end her visit to South Sudan, Amina emphasized that the issue of rape in the country must be addressed stressing that “violence against one woman is one woman too many.”

“There is a lot of prosperity and many good things to come out of the country because of its people in spite of the challenges,” encouraged South Sudanese women.

While addressing a question on the Cessation of hostilities agreement, Amina said the success of the Peace process depends on inclusivity and strengthening of the police force, judicial system and basic services improved.

“Peace is absolutely necessary now and it should be as inclusive as possible, welcomes Khartoum initiative,” the UN Deputy Secretary-General said.

Meanwhile, the AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Bineta Diop said that women must take the lead in spearheading peace in the country.

“Women must spearhead the peace agenda in South Sudan. Accountability is needed, legal services are needed in rural areas,” Diop said.

“If justice is not achieved at the grassroots, peace building will not happen” she noted.

Earlier yesterday, the AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security and the UN Deputy Secretary-General had bilateral meetings with authorities in Juba.

They also visited the protection of civilians’ site POCS, a hospital that treats victims of gender-based violence, and community resilience programmes, and held meetings with women’s leaders, including members of the “African Women Leaders Network” (AWLN), religious leaders and civil society groups.

The Joint AU-UN Trip to South Sudan extended to Chad and Niger yesterday. Delegation includes the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, who will travelled to South Sudan, and proceeds to Chad and Niger today in a joint AU-UN visit with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden,Ms. Margot Wallström.

The AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security and the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General are undertaking their visit to the three countries after they participate in the 31st AU Summit, taking place in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on 1-2 July.

This is their second effort to lead a joint UN-AU Delegation in Africa for peace, security and sustainable development. Last year, the joint delegation visited Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They are expected back in New York on 9 July. On 10 July they will brief the Security Council on the topic of women, peace and security in the Sahel. The Council debate will be under the presidency of H.E Minister Ms. Wallström, with Sweden holding the Council’s rotating Presidency in July. The AU Peace and Security Council will also be briefed.



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