Advance information for Media
World's first virtual summit building solidarity and solutions for the women of South Sudan
The first-ever online summit for South Sudan will stream around the world from Nairobi on Africa Day, a day of international solidarity, as part of an initiative led by a coalition of women’s and other civil society organisations.
The SawaSouthSudan summit will bring together powerful women leaders from South Sudan, the wider African continent, and the world to share experiences, create solutions and galvanise ￼￼for a sustained campaign for peace in the world's youngest country. In an unprecedented gathering, heads of State, activists, artists and politicians will share a virtual space with women at the grassroots and together they will share solidarity and solutions to the fighting.
“The women of South Sudan have suffered too long as their leaders tear the young country apart. The SawaSouthSudan summit is their moment to speak, to act and to be heard.” said Navi Pillay, Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Scheduled participants include, Chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki; Rebecca Garang, wife of the late leader of pre-independence South Sudan; international human rights campaigners including former Irish President Mary Robinson and Navi Pillay; former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; Oxfam International Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima; Obiageli Ezekwesili, founder of #BringBackOurGirls; and a host of South Sudanese activists including Edmund Yakani and Emili Koiti. The event is being hosted by the South Sudan Women’s Coalition for Peace led by Rita Lopidia and will be moderated by renowned Kenyan entrepreneur and personality, Julie Gichuru.
These African leaders and activists are uniting for the SawaSouthSudan summit to put pressure on the on the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) taking place in Addis and tasked with restarting the South Sudanese peace process. Specifically, the summit will call for the African Union to urgently implement decisions it has already made on South Sudan in particular the following:
- To finally establish the Hybrid Court of South Sudan, a combined international and national court, which can begin to hold perpetrators of the worst of war crimes to account.
- Install a clear sanctions regime against the spoilers of peace
- Pressure South Sudan’s political leaders to agree to a transitional leadership arrangement in a context that is aligned to the agreed to Cessation of Hostilities
- Increase diplomatic engagement with South Sudan’s neighbours who are currently enabling the conflict to perpetuate to perpetuate
“At a critical juncture for South Sudan the online summit is timely – recognising that women can be powerful agents for change and playing a role in responding to conflict and fragility. This online summit enhances the voice of women in reconciliation efforts and will ensure lasting peace and give the people of South Sudan hope for a better future,” said Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister of Australia.
The summit will stream around the world on Facebook, YouTube and from www.SawaSouthSudan.com. It is also being broadcast on radio throughout South Sudan and at locations throughout Africa, where groups are gathering to watch, partake online and commit to the campaign goals.
“Africa’s youngest nation remains torn by insecurity and violence, especially GBV that targets women and girls. We must not see these women and girls but as leaders who have a key role in addressing conflict and sustaining peace”, said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women.
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