South Sudanese Women Call for 35% of Government Positions to Be Female
Only 1 in 10 recently appointed committee members are women.
By John Tanza
South Sudanese women leaders are calling on the president to give 35 percent of executive appointments to women, as agreed to in the recently revitalized peace deal.
On Tuesday, President Salva Kiir appointed 10 people to a committee tasked with starting the process to create South Sudan's envisioned transitional government. Only one of the 10 are women.
Mary Ayen Majok, a member of the transition legislative assembly, told VOA Wednesday that she is unhappy the women's quota wasn't met.
"The 35 [percent] affirmative action is not implemented," Majok said. "For us, honestly we feel bad about it because it means that the parties are not faithful to what they agreed upon."
Regina Joseph Kaba represents a faction of the Former Sudan People's Liberation Movement Political Detainees (FDS), one of the parties that signed the peace deal in Addis Ababa. She says gender balance is a continuous battle and added that the composition the NPTC committee has not followed the terms of the Addis deal.
"They violated the women percentage. We are supposed to have at least two women on the [NPTC] committee," Kaba said.
The deal in Addis not only set aside 35 percent of executive appointments for women, it also includes a broad commitment by parties to give due consideration to ethnic diversity, gender and regional representation.
Emily Koiti represented the young South Sudanese at the just concluded peace negotiations. She said the parties to the deal can address the root cause of the conflict in South Sudan if they are honest in its implementation.
"We want to ensure that there are regional, ethnic and generational representation in all the bodies that will be established [to implement the deal]." Koiti stressed.
Chris Trott, Britain's special representative for Sudan and South Sudan told VOA last week that the parties involved in the conflict in South Sudan have a chance to show their commitment to peace by implementing the revitalized agreement signed on September 12.
Just days after the signing of the agreement, reports of fighting have surfaced in several parts of South Sudan, according to Jean-Pierre Lacroix, U.N. undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations.
Angelina Teny, a senior member of the rebels of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), blamed government forces to allegedly attacking rebel strongholds in Central Equatoria and the former Unity state.
"We have have raised this with the guarantors [of the peace deal]... we have raised it with the president," said Teny. She said the government is fighting to install county commissioners in areas that are under rebel control.
Lam Tungwar, state minister of information in Liech state, formerly part of Unity State, said fighters belonging to the main rebel SPLM-IO force loyal to former vice president Riek Machar had attacked government positions in a small village in Koch County this week.
The Cease-Fire Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM), a body monitoring cease-fire violations told VOA in an email message that it is "currently investigating alleged breaches of the ceasefire in the Yei area. As this investigation is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."