500 signatures reached
To: President Cyril Ramaphosa and International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor
Tell President Ramaphosa to help stop conflict related sexual violence in South Sudan
We specifically ask President Ramaphosa and Minister Naledi Pandor to:
1. Appoint a South African Special Envoy to South Sudan who is an expert on sexual and gender-based violence. This Special Envoy could help mobilise support to bring justice to survivors of sexual violence. The Special Envoy would benefit from support by a panel of experts from both government and civil society who work on women, peace and security issues.
2. Use the opportunity during South Africa’s Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in October 2019 to call for a hearing on sexual and gender-based violence in conflict. Women from South Sudan must be given a chance to testify at this hearing and make recommendations to the United Nations.
We want to see the Government of South Africa rise up in defence of the women and children of South Sudan whose bodies have been turned into a battleground of war.
Why is this important?
South Sudan is Africa’s youngest country having gained independence 8 years ago from Sudan. A civil conflict broke out in 2013 and it is estimated that 400,000 people have been killed during this war. Rape is being used as a weapon of war in South Sudan by soldiers from all sides of the conflict. This means thousands of women and children in South Sudan are not safe. Time and again we have heard horrific stories of rape including of children as young as 10 years and grandmothers over the age of 65 years. Even more horrifying is UNICEF’s estimates that as many as 25% of the victims of conflict related rape and other forms of sexual violence in South Sudan are children.
As South Africans, we are deeply concerned about the conflict related sexual violence in South Sudan which has spiked dramatically after the signing of the September 2018 peace agreement. We are shocked by the outright dismissal and denial of conflict related sexual violence cases by South Sudanese authorities which encourages perpetrators and further traumatises the survivors of such violence.
We believe in Ubuntu, sisterhood and the Pan-African spirit that binds us with South Sudan under the African Union and choose today to stand in solidarity with the women and children of South Sudan. We call on President Ramaphosa and International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor to work on our behalf towards ending conflict related sexual and gender-based violence in South Sudan.
Sign this petition and stand in solidarity with the women of South Sudan fighting sexual and gender-based violence. Your voice will join thousands more who are calling on President Ramaphosa and International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor to use South Africa’s leadership position in the African Union and the UN Security Council to help bring about real and lasting peace in Africa’s youngest nation.