From 19th to 25th June 2020, The Peace Centre facilitated the meeting of District Peace Committee meetings that had a total of 142 (42 females and 100 males) participants. The meetings provided platforms where Women Peace Mediators presented women peace and security concerns including; the impact of COVID 19 on women, increasing conflicts in the project districts that called for the safety of women and girls, spaces for women’s participation in peacebuilding, peace meetings and complete disarmament, protection of the unprotected kraals, tracking and recovery of stolen animals, need to resume peace initiatives since the Warriors took advantage of the lockdown and conflicts escalated.
The meetings discussed and agreed on strategies of ensuring conflict early warning and early response systems are functional at the District level. As a result, increased realisation and collective action by District Peace Committees on Women Peace and Security concerns were registered, for example Yumbe District offered radio talk show time for the Women Peace Mediators to profile Women Peace and Security concerns as well as hold duty bearers accountable. The disarmament process was initiated in Kotido.
The Women Mediators Networks also met monthly during this period in Panyangara, Nakapelemoro, Rengen and Kotido Municipal within Kotido district and in Yumbe and Adjumani Districts. They have been engaged in documenting and reporting violations associated with COVID-19 containment measures including sexual and physical violence.
Following violent conflict between South Sudanese Nuer and Dinka youth, including kidnapping, maiming, death and interruption of government’s distribution of learning materials, The Peace Centre hosted a mediation session on 22nd May, including the Adjumani Women Mediators Network in partnership with UNHCR, Office of the Prime Minister and Adjumani District Local Government. 72 leaders (55 men and 17 women) discussed the conflict situation, identified the triggers and agreed to report conflict indicators to duty bearers before they turn into violence. Both Nuer and Dinka leaders (except for one) were remorseful, pledged to actively prevent violent conflict and to engage the youth to stop fighting. The leaders have since held dialogues with the youth as agreed during the mediation and district leadership reported improved relationship among the leaders of the different South Sudanese refugee communities.