Urgent action for sustainable peace in Western El Ghazal State
Civil Society Statement: June 10, 2015
Wau –Western Bahr El Ghazal State- The Republic of South Sudan
We, civil society organizations, observing the sequence of events taking place across the country and particularly in Western Bahr El Ghazal State (WB) with great concern.
Aware that it is only less than a month when the Paramount chief of Wau County was assassinated in Bagari by unknown gunpersons; an incident that has largely affected the local community and contributed to further fear and concerns.
Standing in solidarity with the families of those who lost their sons during as they were undertaking their normal duties in Bazia; come together on this day of 04th June 2015 in Wau County to make the following expressions;
On 31st May 2015, in Wau County, Bazia Payam security threats were renewed in which two local Police officers lost their lives to an armed group claimed to be associated with South Sudan armed rebels. We affirm that this situation is perceived by the state population as a direct threat to their safety and security, worsens the already fragile food security situation and further affects the prospects of sustainable peace and development in the area given the prolonged the painful cycle of conflicts.
Considering that Wau County currently presents a stable and peaceful area not only for WB state population but for many other Neighboring South Sudan States. The County is among the few with the ability to sustain farming activities and provide for surrounding communities. In addition Western Bahr El Ghazal State continues to receive high influx of IDPs exceeding 100,000 and large population of returnees who are still striving to settle, therefore security threats have a massive negative impact on the already vulnerable communities,
We note with concern the need to learn from the misery, pain, and instability caused by war as an urgent step for us to strive and invest in a peaceful struggle to rebuild our country. As civil society we are fully aware that it is only through dialogue, enduring, accommodating and accepting each other as equal beings that we will be able to resolve our challenges and settle them peacefully.
WB has resented falling into the chaos of conflict for the past 2 years particularly because of the deep understanding of our communities of the brutality and lasting consequences of civil conflicts. We therefore call on our leaders who are known in amicably settling conflicts to intervene with this wisdom aimed at restoring peace and protecting vulnerable groups who are mostly affected.
The people of WB are already enduring severe food scarcity and economic hardship where the state is largely affected by the surrounding instability with no significant support in place. Today we Voice the message that “War is not the answer for our differences; dialogue is essential for sustainable peace”.
Together, we present the following urgent actions for sustainable peace in Western El Ghazal State;
We urge the armed groups to refrain from any armed activities within the State and respect the hostility agreement signed in Addis Ababa as well as key International standards for peace security such as the Geneva Convention. The suffering of our people within the State or outside is NOT Acceptable.
We call on the entire community to work for peace and to accept and support each other against the brutality of civil war and to restrain from supporting armed conflict that results in further destruction, misery and death.
We also encourage the local communities, local leadership and youth to spread and embrace the culture of peace and to stand firm against all acts of violence and to exercise patience and tranquility.
Lastly, We call on South Sudan government, regional and the International community to work towards containing the impact of conflict not only by supporting communities in conflict zones but by extending support to other vulnerable communities affected by the impact of the contagious spreading of armed conflict.
The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA)
SAWA SAWA Women Development Peace Society
Woman Training and Promotion Associaion (WOTAP)
Women Development Group
Women Organization for Food Basket (WOFB)
UNITY CULTURAL & DEVELOPMENT CENTRE
Alma Awach Girl Child Empowerment Organization (AAGCE)
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Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa
Plot 3 Katalima Bend, Naguru
P.O.Box 2793, Kampala
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