Africa: Communique Adopted at the Sudan Women’s Dialogue

WE, the women of Sudan from women’s organisation, civil society, the private sector, gatheredinKampala, Uganda from 3-4 July 2024, 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,

THANKING His Excellency 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

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

APPLAUD the efforts of the High Level Panel on Sudan in the convening of this Sudan Women’s peace dialogue.

FURTHER APPLAUD the Special Envoy of the African Union Commission 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 ;

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 peace and security architecture;

APPLAUD the commitment of African leaders, and H.E Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), towards advancing the WPS Agenda in Africa,  including establishing a Panel of the Wise, which has 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 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 at the continuing war throughout Sudan, which is having catastrophic impact on Sudanese civilians, in particular, women and girls and vulnerable groups, destruction of physical and social infrastructure, including agriculture, health and other services, in additional the denial of access to food and water, electricity, education and other services essential for life.

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

Expressing concern at the reports of grave 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,

Expressing regret that the warring parties have failed to date to implement the provisions of the Declaration of Commitments to Protect the Civilians of Sudan, signed in Jeddah on 10th May 2023.

Confirming that establishment of an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and the opening of humanitarian corridors are necessary conditions for initiating political dialogue, hence demand that the warring parties immediately cease fire unconditionally, allow for the opening of humanitarian corridors and distribution of live-saving food and other items to affected populations,

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

Demanding 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,

Acknowledging the challenges we have faced in our discussions, given the extreme polarization and division amongst Sudanese, in the context of continuing war and grave atrocities,

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

Recognizing the importance of transparency as fundamental tool for trust and confidence building,

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

Demanding further that woman participation be at 50% quota at all levels, including political and grassroots levels, and ensure also that gender equality and women’s rights are embedded in the provisions of any peace agreement,

Also demanding that mechanisms are put in place for monitoring the implementation and enforcement of peace agreement,

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

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

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Catherine Gaku Njeru
Office of the Special Envoy of the Chairperson of AU Commission on Women, Peace and Security
Tel: +251-11-5517700 ext.2047-+251-11- 518 2047
E-mail:wpsa@africa-union.org| Addis Ababa, Ethiopia