We, women from Sudan gathered in Kampala, Uganda from 3-4 July 2024, in our individual capacity as peace builders, activists, civil society actors, political actors, and private sector actors, internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees, academics and media practitioners, on the occasion of the Sudan Women’s Peace Dialogue, convened by the African Union Commission through the Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, under the leadership of the AU High Level Panel on Sudan, in collaboration with FEMWISE Africa, AU Peace and Security Council, the Panel of the Wise, represented by H.E. Dr Pumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, and with the support of the UN agencies, in particular UN Women, UN Office of the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and United Nations Training and Research (UNITAR),

Expressing appreciation to H.E. Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, and the people of Uganda, through the Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Robinah Nabbanja and the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon Betty Ongom Amongi, for their warm hospitality and support for the Dialogue. Further welcoming the outcome of the 1218th session of the PSC, held at the level of Heads of State and Government, including the establishment of an PSC ad hoc Presidential Committee, chaired by H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Chair of the PSC for the month of June 2024,

Cognizant of our common objective of advancing women’s inclusion and participation in search of peace and security in Africa particularly  towards silencing the guns in Sudan;

Applaud the efforts of the High Level Panel on Sudan in  convening this Sudan Women’s peace dialogue, under the leadership of Dr. Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe, Member of the AU High Level Panel on Sudan and former Vice President of the Republic of Uganda,

Further applaud the AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, and other AU Departments/ Divisions/ Programmes such as the Gender, Peace and Security Programme (GPSP) and the FemWise Secretariat for their collective efforts towards ensuring that the voice of Sudanese women remains a priority in search of lasting peace in Sudan;

Having listened to experiences of women in mediation, shared by women from Burundi, South Sudan and Uganda, 

Guided by the various normative instruments and decisions that advance the WPS Agenda in Africa, including the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000); Article 4(l), of the AU Constitutive Act, the Maputo Protocol on Women’s Rights (2003), the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (2004), the African Women’s Decade (2010-2020), Aspiration 6 of the Agenda 2063; and the AU Strategy for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment 2018-2028, amongst others;

Further guided by the AU instruments and the African peace and security architecture;

Applaud the commitment of African leaders, and H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), towards advancing the WPS Agenda in Africa, including establishing a Panel of the Wise with 50 percent gender parity, and the appointment of a High Level Panel on Sudan (HLP-Sudan), with  30%  female representation,  chaired by Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas and also including Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe and Ambassador Francisco Madeira.

Further commend the AUC for investing in efforts to strengthen women’s participation in peace and security processes through its establishment of mechanisms such as the Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation (FemWise) and the African Women’s Leadership Network (AWLN) and Pan African Women’s Organization (PAWO); and putting in place the Swakopmund processes to enhance women’s participation and inclusion in peace and security processes.

Having focused in these two days on political and governance issues, security, humanitarian and protection issues, and truth, healing and reconciliation processes,

Gravely concerned by the ongoing war throughout Sudan, which is having catastrophic impact on Sudanese people in particular, women and girls and vulnerable groups, coupled with the destruction of physical and social infrastructure, including agriculture, health and other services, in addition to the denial of access to food and water, electricity, education and other services essential for life.

Also deeply concerned by the impact that the total destruction of Sudan is having on communities, with massive displacement of populations, both internally and into neighbouring countries,

Express our grave concern over the reports of severe food insecurity, which is already leading to growing numbers of deaths from hunger and attendant disease, and which threatens to descend into full scale famine, if not reversed within the coming two months,

Deeply regret that the warring parties have failed to implement the provisions of the agreements signed in Jeddah on 11 May 2023 relating to commitments to protect civilians,

Demand that the warring parties immediately and unconditionally cease fire, allow for the opening of humanitarian corridors and distribution of live-saving food and other items to affected populations,

Condemn in the strongest terms the continuing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by the two warring parties, in particular, the systematic commission of sexual and gender based violence against women and girls, abduction, detention and forced disappearance,

Demand that regional and international organizations put in place neutral mechanisms for the protection of civilians, in particular, women, girls, children and other vulnerable populations, supported by local mechanisms to facilitate protection of civilians at the local level,

Acknowledge the challenges we have faced in our discussions in the Sudan Women’s Dialogue, given the extreme polarization and division amongst Sudanese, in the context of continuing war and grave atrocities,

Also acknowledge the need to address the trauma and anger that is experienced by all Sudanese, as part of the political dialogue process,

Recognize the importance of transparency at all levels as a fundamental value, necessary to build mutual trust and confidence among the Sudanese people and between them and their partners,

Demand that women in all their diversity form an integral part of all peace processes, including ceasefire negotiations, security arrangements, constitutional and governance processes, transitional justice, truth and healing processes, and humanitarian assistance provision,

Also Demand that woman participation be at least 50% quota at all levels, including in political and grassroots levels, and the need to ensure that gender equality and women’s rights are embedded in the negotiation agenda, in the provisions of any peace agreement, and that women are also signatories in the peace agreements,

Further demand that a gender-sensitive mechanism, is put in place providing an equal role for women in the monitoring the implementation and enforcement of the peace agreement,

Urge the international partners to make available the necessary resources to support the implementation of this communique, and

Remain committed to work together as women to strive for peace, democracy, justice and security in Sudan.

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Posted by Abraham Kebede

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