African Women’s Lobby (AWL) – Finding Durable Solutions for Sustainable Peace and Development in South Sudan: A Comprehensive Report
Released on June 28, 2022
The African Women’s Lobby (AWL) is a neutral regional non-profit organization dedicated to fostering peace, cooperation, and development in Africa and beyond. From March 3rd to December 5th, 2021, AWL hosted a series of webinars focused on finding durable solutions and addressing the root causes of conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, to attain sustainable peace. The resultant report, released on June 28, 2022, encapsulates the deliberations and actions pursued throughout this timeframe, providing a comprehensive overview of the discussions and initiatives undertaken during this period.
II. The Webinar Series – Key Speakers
The webinar series featured key speakers from both the government and outstanding opposition, aiming to foster dialogue and cooperation. Notable participants included government officials such as Ambassador Joshua Franco Paul, and opposition leaders like Mr. Pagan Amum Okiech, Mr. Paul Malong Awan and Amb. Emmanuel Ajawin among others. Despite challenges, extensive engagement was observed, reflecting a commitment to finding solutions.
III. The Real-SPLM Position
Mr. Pagan Amum Okiech emphasized the need for a paradigm shift towards a technocratic caretaker government to facilitate a successful transition to peace and democracy in South Sudan. The Real-SPLM’s vision focuses on building transparent institutions and conducting free and fair elections to empower the people.
IV. The SSUF/A Position
Mr. Paul Malong Awan stressed the importance of disarmament and unity among the South Sudanese people to achieve lasting peace. The SSUF/A advocates for a strong government to address internal conflicts, land grabbing, and corruption, and promote accountability and the rule of law.
V. The NDM/PF Position
Amb. Emmanuel Ajawin highlighted the need for generational change and structural reform in South Sudan’s governance. The NDM/PF advocates for parliamentary sovereignty, economic development, empowerment of youth and women, and a non-violent approach to peace and change.
VI. The NAS Position
Gen. Thomas Cirillo is aware of the AWL initiative. Although direct involvement hasn’t happened, NAS has initiated contact. Ms. Tereza Leila Jube, a NAS secretary, introduced AWL to NAS documents, including their ideology. NAS aims for an inclusive, modern South Sudan underscores the importance of addressing core issues in the peace process.
VII. The Government Position
Government officials reiterated their commitment to implementing the R-ARCSS and addressing challenges such as land grabbing, internal conflicts, and refugee resettlement. Efforts towards peace and development are underway, albeit with existing complexities.
VIII. AWL’s Conclusions and Recommendations
AWL emphasizes the importance of dialogue, cooperation, and inclusivity in finding durable solutions for sustainable peace. Challenges such as economic crisis, and communication gaps must be addressed through collective efforts. A call for a South Sudan Peace Conference underscores the need for tangible outcomes and comprehensive peace plans.
IX. Recommendations – A Call for South Sudan Peace Conference
AWL calls for support from all stakeholders to organize a consultative conference on South Sudan peace. The conference aims to harness collective wisdom and experience to shape a comprehensive peace plan and foster dialogue and cooperation.
X. Why is the AWL Initiative Important?
The African Women’s Lobby (AWL) initiative is of paramount importance in the quest for sustainable peace and development in Africa and beyond. AWL bridges the world with the African continent, dedicated to fostering comprehensive development across social, political, and economic spheres. Government officials, opposition leaders, and diaspora representatives alike recognize the significance of AWL’s efforts and the unique role it plays in fostering positive change. Here are some expressions from key stakeholders elucidating the importance of the AWL initiative:
1. Amb. Joshua: Ambassador Joshua emphasizes the vital role of peace in achieving common well-being and everlasting peace. He applauds AWL’s neutrality and focuses on constructive criticism as an essential elements for effective peacebuilding efforts.
2. Pa’gan Amum: Pa’gan Amum acknowledges the pivotal role played by AWL and encourages its members to aim high in achieving peace not only in South Sudan but also across the African continent and beyond. He highlights the importance of balancing male-dominated societies, recognizing the need to mitigate the destructive aspects of unchecked male energy.
3. Mr. Paul Malong Awan: Mr. Paul Malong Awan underscores the importance of women in South Sudanese society, citing personal experiences and the recognition of AWL’s contributions by the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A). He sees AWL’s initiative as revolutionary for fostering positive change in South Sudan and Africa as a whole.
4. Amb. Ajawin: Ambassador Ajawin commends AWL’s specific goal-oriented approach to peacebuilding, emphasizing the need for South Sudanese unity in effecting fundamental change. He acknowledges the importance of continued efforts towards peace.
5. Dr. Justo Wani Jada: Dr Justo from the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, and Technology appreciates AWL’s support in providing counselling, mentorship, and mediation interventions for South Sudanese students in Egypt. He recognizes AWL’s significant contribution in mitigating challenges faced by South Sudanese youth.
Stakeholders recognize the crucial role of AWL in fostering peace, promoting gender equality, and empowering youth and women. The initiative represents a neutral platform for constructive dialogue and cooperation towards sustainable peace and development. Additionally, both the government and opposition leaders have accepted AWL as observers for peace talks, highlighting the organization’s credibility and importance in facilitating dialogue and reconciliation efforts.
6. Diaspora Leaders: Diaspora leaders recognize AWL’s initiative for bridging the gap between opposition, citizens, and the government. They express their commitment to working collaboratively with AWL to achieve sustainable peace in Africa and beyond. The diaspora acknowledges AWL as a representative voice for the people and recognizes its role in advocating for their demands.
7. Stakeholders situated along the migration route between the Horn of Africa and Europe: The impact of the African Women’s Lobby endures through its transformative ‘AWLs 4 Cs’ approach – Communication, Coordination, Collaboration, and Cooperation – representing an invaluable global asset. On July 28, 2023, stakeholders situated along the migration route between the Horn of Africa and Europe formally adopted this methodology. For further insights, please refer to: Link to the article.
The African Women’s Lobby’s initiative for finding durable solutions reflects a commitment to global peace, cooperation, and development. Through dialogue and collective action, stakeholders aim to address the root causes of conflict and pave the way for lasting peace and prosperity in the region.
This report presents a comprehensive overview of AWL’s efforts and recommendations for sustainable peace in South Sudan, incorporating perspectives from various stakeholders and highlighting the importance of dialogue, cooperation, and inclusivity in the peace process.
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