By Hassan Arun Cosmas
A group of women conducted a three-day roundtable dialogue on the transitional justice mechanism concluded on Saturday in Yei River County of Central Equatoria State.
The dialogue initiated by Centre for Inclusive Governance Peace and Justice was to empower women through awareness raising and promoting inclusive and participatory transitional justice processes.
Speaking during the closure of the dialogue, participants’ representative Aguil Yul expressed joy over the knowledge gained on the Revitalized Peace Agreement.
“It is my first time to get such training regarding our country South Sudan. I didn’t know many things regarding our rights as women, but I got them here in this training. I want to thank those who facilitated this discussion because I have learnt a lot. I also want to encourage my fellow women to open their eyes and they should know that they have their rights to voice their concerns as citizens of the Country, “reminded the participants’ representative.
Meanwhile, Alithia Barampataz, UNMISS Human Rights officer in Yei, called for support to women in South Sudan.
She called on men to also work together with the women to encourage social cohesion and peaceful coexistence.
Alithia expressed UNMISS commitment to working together to support cohesion and human rights protection.
“Unless we support women’s voices, women cannot be the only ones speaking for themselves. We need our fathers, brothers and sons to work together with us. The work that UNMISS does is supporting this kind of cohesion and human rights and we have to work together. So, UNMISS is here to continue to support you and I hope that we will continue to work together,” appealed Alithia.
Centre for Inclusive Governance, Peace and Justice Coordinator inYei, Fr. Simon Khamis Mabe, appealed to all citizens to reconcile in the implementation of Chapter five on transitional justice, accountability, reconciliation and healing in the agreement.
He called on every individual to reconcile and forgive one another for peace to prevail in the nation.
“Unless all south Sudanese citizens both civilians and armed forces accept to reconcile. Nothing will bring peace in south Sudan and that is why religious leaders thought it wise to include in chapter five of the revitalized peace agreement on the resolution of the conflict in the republic of South Sudan. The reconciliation and healing in the peace agreement because if we will not kneel down, the peace we are looking for will not come even if we continue searching for one hundred Years. Therefore, women, men, youth and religious leaders should reconcile and forgive each other for peace to be realized in our country,” reminded Fr Simon.
Meanwhile, Taban Silvio of Centre for Inclusive Governance, Peace and Justice’s Program manager explained that peace was a process that needed resilience.
He called for citizens’ support in achieving transitional justice as stipulated in the agreement.
The forum brought together women leaders from civil society, community based organizations, women rights activists, lawyers, female advocates and opinion leaders in Yei River County.