The women representatives at the peace talks in Addis Ababa are urging their male counterparts to put aside their differences and return to the negotiating table.
On Monday, the delegates of Dr. Riek Machar’s faction boycotted the talks after government forces allegedly attacked their position in Nasir, an accusation the government rejects.
As a result, a coalition of nine opposition groups issued a statement, saying the renewed fighting demonstrates the government’s lack of seriousness and political will to negotiate in good faith.
Since then, the parties have not resumed the second round of the High-Level Revitalization Forum.
“If you go to South Sudan, women are the majority. At funerals, they are the majority; at church they are the majority. Even in the weddings, women are the majority. Where do they think the men are gone? They are no men. They have finished,” said Amer Manyok.
“So our leaders have to know what’s next now that men are finished in the country.”
For her part, the chairperson of South Sudan Civil Society Alliance said the leaders should put the interests of the people first.
Alakiir Malual urged the parties at the forum to negotiate in good faith for the success of the forum.
“If we all humble ourselves, and stop the violence and put the interest of our people first, and if we put the interest of this country first, then we can do something better,” she said.