We, women refugees living in Uganda participated in the conference under the theme “The South Sudan Peace Process: The Role and Prospects of Refugee Women” in Adjumani, Uganda from 25 to 26 February 2020, acknowledged our common vision for sustainable peace in South Sudan and promoting peace in the communities where we live in Uganda;
THANK the Government of Uganda for their generosity of receiving us and enabling us to live in Uganda with dignity under their protection;
APPRECIATE the Office of the Prime Minister for Uganda, UNHCR and UN Women for their support over the years and providing us with access to education and health that has improved our well-being and livelihood;
FURTHER APPRECIATE the Government of Uganda for putting in place affirmative action for leadership in the settlements that has enabled 50-50 representation of women and men in decision making; that has enabled us to ensure the needs and concerns of women are taken into account in the management of the settlement;
ACKNOWLEDGE the contribution of other partners whose support has helped address most of our needs, including the Refugee Law Project, Care International and the Women’s International Peace Centre;
REALISING that the Government of South Sudan is in the last stages of forming the Transitional Government of National Unity;
DRIVEN by the fact that urgent steps need to be taken to ensure that sustainable peace is achieved in South Sudan with the full participation of women and girls, particularly as it relates to the protection of women and girls from all forms of violence.
We urge the Government of South Sudan and signatories to the Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan:
- To ensure complete ceasefire is maintained and non-signatories are brought on board to participate in the peace implementation by silencing the guns.
- We demand for a functional Disarmament, Demobilization and Rehabilitation Commission to ensure arms are removed from communities.
- We call upon H.E President Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Macher to visit us in the camps and assure us of no return to war. We are tired of being refugees and want to return home to participate in building our nation.
- To ensure the complete implementation of the Revitalized Agreement and ALL its provision including monitoring and reporting; as well as respect the provision of 35% representation of women in decision making by nominating women in decision making positions at all levels. There is no sustainable without the full participation of women at all levels.
- Recognize the capacity that resides with women refugees living in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt and find ways to ensure their inclusion in decision making to achieve sustainable peace;
- Develop and implement the safe and dignified return of refugees, by developing and reinforcing policies that guarantee the safety of all citizens, protect our borders and civilian populations especially IDPs and safeguard their human rights, including the right to safety, education, health, food security, economic development, and ensure lands that have been taken away are returned to rightful owners.
- Urge IGAD to continue to monitor the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement to ensure none of the parties violates ALL provisions; and if they do sanctions should apply.
- Also we urge the international community to monitor and support the peace process in South Sudan and ensure accountability for violation of human rights.
- We call on the Government of Uganda to continue to provide safe zones for refugee populations, develop and strengthen policies to provide holistic interventions that target women, girls and vulnerable groups including reintegration and economic empowerment for refugees.
Dated at Adjumani, this 26th day of February 2020.