Creating Human Security in South Sudan: What is needed?

The Women’s Leadership for Peace and Security in the Greater Horn of Africa project aims to maximize the participation and contribution of women in national and regional peace and security decision-making and political dialogue in varied conflict and post-conflict settings in the Greater Horn of Africa. The principal outcomes of the initial project period (2009-2010) are positive changes in relationships between targeted women leaders – called G40 women leaders group – and stakeholders at different decision-making levels across national government and multilateral institutions that affect peace and security in that region. During the first phase, seven high-level missions were carried out in Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti and Kenya under the leadership of Club of Madrid Members Valdis Birkavs (Latvia), Kjell Magne Bondevik (Norway), Kim Campbell (Canada) and Mary Robinson (Ireland), and engaged top leadership at continental, sub-regional and national levels on pressing issues of peace and security.

The South Sudan High Level Mission held last October 10-14 in Juba under the theme “Creating Human Security in the Republic of South Sudan: What is needed?” was leaded by Mr. Benjamin Mkapa, former President of Tanzania and Chair of UN Secretary General’s Panel on the Referenda in the Sudan.  Given the formation of the new State, the mission focused at length on the Human Security and Peace-building Progress and Challenges of creating a new state, as well as on identifying opportunities and strategies for influencing policy/governance processes in Southern Sudan to create gender sensitive peace, security and development.

Training sessions and policy analysis were focused on how can legal frameworks and governance structures address human security and peace-building needs and the role that South Sudanese women have played in creating independence and human security. Capacity building sessions were delivered by Hon. Betty Ogwaro, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry; Regina Joseph Kapa, former Gender Administration Director, Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC); Isaac Kungur Kenyi, peace activist;  Helen Kezie-Nwoha (Isis-WICCE), Cheryl Hendricks (Institute for Security Studies); Lauren Hutton (Programme Officer, Saferworld); Clem McCartney (Club de Madrid).  A comparative analysis with Lessons from Uganda on gender sensitive peace-building was provided by G40 members from Uganda.

As final output from the mission, a set of specific policy Recommendations for Creating Gender Sensitive Human Security in South Sudan was addressed to the Government of South Sudan, the United Nations system, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as well as the international community, by the G40 women leaders from Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia (Puntland and South Central) and Somaliland; Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda. 

The Recommendations were delivered during the Roundtable and advocacy session held last October 13th, attended by Republic of South Sudan government, Embassies, international donor community, as well as international and local NGOs representatives. Among those who attended this relevant Roundtable were Madam Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior, Gender and Human Rights Presidential Advisor ,Office of the President H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit; Hon. Sabina Dario Okolong, Deputy Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management; Hon Rebecca Joshua Okwaci, Deputy Minister of General Education and Instruction; Hon. Margaret Mathiang, Undersecretary of Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare; Mr. Peter Gwang Akich, Deputy Chairperson of South Sudan Peace Commission; Hon. Hanna Lona Bona, parliamentarian; as well as Amb. Mohamed A. Abdoul, IGAD Head of Juba Office and Grace Okonji, UN Women Gender Advisor.