South Sudan leader urged to appoint women leaders

South Sudanese women activists are urging President Salva Kiir to revoke the appointments of state governors in order to include women’s representatives in accordance with the provisions of the revitalised peace agreement.

Early this week, President Kiir appointed governors for eight of the country’s 10 regional states after sharing them out with his former rival and now the country’s First Vice-President Riek Machar.

Of the eight appointed governors, only one is a woman – Sarah Cleto Rial, a South Sudanese-American citizen based in the US – who will be the governor for Western Bahr El-Ghazal State.

The revitalised peace agreement grants women across political spectrum affirmative action or gender quota of 35% of portfolios at all levels of government.

The chairperson of South Sudan Women’s Coalition for Peace Caroline Kibos says the ruling party Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has violated the provisions of the agreement.

“This under-representation manifestly violates our right to participate in peace and political processes,” she said in a communique read on behalf of women activists.

The women activists want the president to revoke the appointment of three men and replace them with women.

Responding to the demands raised by women, SPLM acting secretary-general Jemma Nunu Kumba said her party stands with the decision of its leadership.

“Yes we have heard the demands of the women, the SPLM will convene a meeting to address these issues and will respond when time is appropriate but we must respect and stand by the decision of our party leadership,” Ms Kumba stated.


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