SOUTH SUDAN / WOMEN PEACE AGREEMENT

14-Aug-2019 00:04:08
South Sudanese women in Gok area celebrated the new peace resolution despite that women’s participation in peacebuilding and conflict-resolution process in the country has been limited. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / WOMEN PEACE AGREEMENT
TRT: 4:08
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / LOCAL LANGUAGE / NATS

DATELINE: 7 AUGUST 2019, REMBEK, SOUTH SUDAN
SHOTLIST
1. Med shot, Chief holding hands in prayer
2. Wide shot, tilt, men holding hands; holding hands
3. Close up, holding hands
4.Wide shot, women singing and chanting
5.SOUNDBITE (Local Language) Amony Wadar Manyier, Woman from Mayath, Gok Area:
“With this agreement, our children will not die anymore. I had four children. Both my boys died in intercommunal revenge attacks, now I am left with only two girls. I can no longer have children because I have grown old.”
6.Close up, legs of women dancing
7.Close up, women dancing, holding sticks
8. SOUNDBITE (Local Language) Amony Wadar Manyier, Woman from Mayath, Gok Area:
“When our husbands or sons die in the battlefield, the bodies are brought back to us women. We wash them and dig graves to bury the bodies ourselves because all the men have gone to fight. The pain of burying your husband or son is unbearable. This pain must stop.”
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Doris Maholo Saydee, Gender Affairs Officer, United Nations Mission in South Sudan:
“People talk about the way the conflict has even affected reproduction. One woman told me because of the men always being away fighting, they don’t have time with their husbands, so, they stop having children and the years are passing. For her, that was her issue. So, it affects women differently.”
10. Close up, women at the back of the big circle
11.Med shot, woman breastfeeding at the back of the circle
12. SOUNDBITE (Local Language) Elizabeth Yar Kao, Mayath County Resident:
“When the men are in the battlefield, we fear being raped by other fighters in revenge, so we stay locked up in our houses. This also means that there will be no cultivation which makes us prone to hunger.”
13.Close up, women standing behind the circle
14.Med shot, youth, women standing behind the circle
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Doris Maholo Saydee, Gender Affairs Officer, United Nations Mission in South Sudan:
“When these gatherings are on-going, it is very important that women are brought to the table so that their voices are heard – about how they are affected and also looking deeper into the role that they play so that when there is a resolution, it trickles down to the role they play because we cannot keep on looking at women as mere victims. They have also been a part of the conflict and they have a role.”
16. Close up, Chiefs in the circle
17. Close up, men holding a flag
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Gibril Allan Tourey, Civil Affairs Officer, United Nations Mission in South Sudan:
“We started the subtle diplomacy to engage the Pagok and Panchinyei and other sections and later we also had Safer World intervening by conducting the peace dialogue, we provided technical support and a peace agreement was signed among the parties.”
19. Wide shot, chiefs lining up
20.Close up, governor shaking hands with chiefs
21.SOUNDBITE (English) Reverend Peter Tibi, Reconcile International:
“The second this is done, we do follow-ups. Many times, when people do peace conference they don’t do follow up, they don’t see where there are gaps and how this could be fixed. We also formed committees who are the custodians of this peace. These people are always there to know of early warnings when things are going bad, they will be able to solve it.”
22. Wide shot, women dancing
STORYLINE
South Sudanese women in Gok area celebrated the new peace resolution despite that women’s participation in peacebuilding and conflict-resolution process in the country has been limited.

The ceremony to celebrate a new peace agreement, signed by communities from Gok, took place at Mayath in the Rumbek region of South Sudan. The chiefs represented the Pagok, Pagor, Panchinyei and Panawuliol factions of the Dinka tribe, which have been embroiled in a long-running cycle of cattle raiding, child abduction and revenge attacks against each other.

Outside the circle of men, women sing celebratory songs. It is not an uncommon sight in South Sudan for women to be left on the periphery of processes like this rapprochement in Gok, despite often suffering the most from conflict. But today, they find it fitting to celebrate this peace agreement.

SOUNDBITE (Local Language) Amony Wadar Manyier, Woman from Mayath, Gok Area:
“With this agreement, our children will not die anymore. I had four children. Both my boys died in intercommunal revenge attacks, now I am left with only two girls. I can no longer have children because I have grown old.”

She and her peers narrate the ordeal the conflict has brought on their families.

SOUNDBITE (Local Language) Amony Wadar Manyier, Woman from Mayath, Gok Area:
“When our husbands or sons die in the battlefield, the bodies are brought back to us women. We wash them and dig graves to bury the bodies ourselves because all the men have gone to fight. The pain of burying your husband or son is unbearable. This pain must stop.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Doris Maholo Saydee, Gender Affairs Officer, United Nations Mission in South Sudan:
“People talk about the way the conflict has even affected reproduction. One woman told me because of the men always being away fighting, they don’t have time with their husbands, so, they stop having children and the years are passing. For her, that was her issue. So, it affects women differently.”

As a young woman, 20-year-old Elizabeth Yar Kao also has specific worries about the conflict in their area.

SOUNDBITE (Local Language) Elizabeth Yar Kao, Mayath County Resident:
“When the men are in the battlefield, we fear being raped by other fighters in revenge, so we stay locked up in our houses. This also means that there will be no cultivation which makes us prone to hunger.”

Despite all this suffering, women are kept at bay when it comes to conflict resolution initiatives. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is now fighting to break this norm which is deeply rooted in the Dinka culture.

SOUNDBITE (English) Doris Maholo Saydee, Gender Affairs Officer, United Nations Mission in South Sudan:
“When these gatherings are on-going, it is very important that women are brought to the table so that their voices are heard – about how they are affected and also looking deeper into the role that they play so that when there is a resolution, it trickles down to the role they play because we cannot keep on looking at women as mere victims. It highlights the importance of bringing women back to the table in terms of peace building, conflict resolution.”

The Peacekeeping Mission initiated the dialogue process for the warrying factions and provided technical support in this conflict resolution process.

SOUNDBITE (English) Gibril Allan Tourey, Civil Affairs Officer, United Nations Mission in South Sudan:
“We started the subtle diplomacy to engage the Pagok and Panchinyei and other sections and later we also had Safer World intervening by conducting the peace dialogue, we provided technical support and a peace agreement was signed among the parties. There is always hope.”

Different peace agreements have been reached to end intra and inter-communal violence in the different parts of the Lakes region in South Sudan. However, a number of these have been violated, resulting into deaths of thousands of South Sudanese. The facilitators of this peace agreement are however optimistic that this one will hold.

SOUNDBITE (English) Reverend Peter Tibi, Reconcile International:
“The second this is done, we do follow-ups. Many times, when people do peace conference they don’t do follow up, they don’t see where there are gaps and how this could be fixed. We also formed committees who are the custodians of this peace. These people are always there to know of early warnings when things are going bad, they will be able to solve it.”
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