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South Sudanese Women Demand Role In Peace Process

South Sudan’s women activists have called for an end to conflict in the country, as delegates hold a forum in in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa in an attempt to jump-start a peace process.

Reps of the #SouthSudan women coalition for peace front the cause for women before gov’t delegate Elia Lomuro. Twitter

Members of the South Sudan Women Coalition for Peace also used the meeting to demand an increase in the participation of women in all peace and development processes.

The coalition which represents refugee and diaspora communities, released a statement on the side-lines of the talks, calling for a 35 percent allocation in all upcoming processes.

Zainab Yassir, a member of the group and her colleagues made a point to speak with leaders attending the talks, reminding them of their duty to promote peace in the country.

“We are wearing white today because we want to tell our leaders it is time for them to decide for our country, to decide for the peace. This is what the South Sudan people need,” she said.

“The conflict which occurred in South Sudan since 2013 has affected women and children and elderly persons. It is continuing; the suffering of the innocent women and children is continuing, and up to now majority of the South. Sudanese people has lost hope” said Amer Deng, representative of Women’s Block of South Sudan.

Despite several agreements and ceasefires, fighting has rumbled on in South Sudan with barely any break since civil war erupted at the end of 2013, just two years after independence.

Troops loyal to President Salva Kiir clashed with forces loyal to Riek Machar, then the vice president. Tens of thousands of people have been killed.

The government and rebel groups signed the latest ceasefire in December in the Ethiopian capital, aiming to revive a pact reached in 2015. But the truce was violated within hours.

The conflict has forced almost 2.5 million people to seek refuge in Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. The U.N. says a further two million are displaced inside the country.

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