To: H. E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President
Republic of South Sudan
To: Hon. Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Deputy Chairperson
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement Party
Dear President Kiir and Dr. Machar,
Janaury 10, 2014 [Boston, Massachusetts] — It is with profound sadness that we learned of the recent hostilities among our people in our young beloved country. We, the daughters of South Sudan in the Sisterhood for Peace Network, are concerned about the violence that has claimed so many innocent lives. We are once again reminded of our painful past history during which our people underwent unfathomable suffering, a reason why we opted for independence. The conflict has also left many people wounded and displaced without basic amenities. We are concerned that many precious lives will be wasted especially those of vulnerable women, children, and elderly and particularly the young people who are already fighting. Lest you forget, we are writing to remind you of that long journey to freedom that paved the path for our independence where many souls paid the ultimate price. We are here to tell you that PEACE is the precious commodity the people of South Sudan so need now, not tomorrow.
The conflict that broke out on December 15, 2013 is spreading throughout the country and has already affected all South Sudanese regardless of our, tribe, region, religion, or gender. Once again, we are witnessing the same horrors that our country experienced during the previous decades of wars. After less than three years of independence, we feel like we are back to square one in war again.
President Kiir and Dr. Machar, we call upon you as our esteemed leaders to save our country from further senseless violence. Our people have endured enough. Our citizens hope to invest in rebuilding their lives, but many are now dying from bullets of war, and preventable diseases and hunger caused directly by the bullets. We are equally hurt to see our own brothers pointing lethal weapons against one another, which imposes another dreadful trauma on our mothers and children and all the nation.
We, the women of South Sudan at home and in the Diaspora, will not watch silently as our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters suffer this way. We stand for peace and unity among our people. We demand an end to the violence, especially all acts of violence against civilians. We call for the implementation of reconciliation processes to bring healing to those physically, emotionally and spiritually wounded.
We applaud the efforts underway in Addis Ababa to negotiate a meaningful peace agreement. We ask both sides to make earnest efforts to reach a compromise and bring an end to the suffering of our people. Once again, we are observing the lack of women at the peace talks. Women are always the innocent victims of such conflicts and should therefore be part of the resolution. We urge you to abide by the UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 on women, peace and security, affirm our commitment to work for sustainable peace and justice in our country ensure the vital role of women’s voices at the peace table.
We request the following as the negotiations continue in Addis Ababa:
- Establish and enforce an immediate ceasefire between opposing forces.
- Restore security and guarantee the protection of civilians.
- Prioritize humanitarian access to displaced persons in the camps with protection for those who work with the displaced communities.
- Ensure that women are included at the negotiation table.
- Ensure the participation of members of civil society at the peace negotiations.
We believe in your ability to stop the killings and restore sustainable peace in the country and hope you will stop the military solution in order to end the hostilities for peace to exist among us. May God bless your efforts to bringing permanent peace to our people and nation.
Daughters of South Sudan
Sisterhood for Peace network
The Sisterhood for Peace is a network of women that reflects the geographic, religious, racial and ethnic diversity of women from both Republic of South Sudan and Republic of Sudan who are committed to promoting peace, justice, human rights and gender equality throughout all South Sudan and Sudan.