Lunch session: building a gender-responsive transitional justice system in South Sudan

Please note that this lunch session is only for NAP 1325 signatories and WO=MEN members! 
Where? WO=MEN office, Korte Poten 9B, The Hague
When? Monday 24 June 2024, 12.30-14.00 (lunch will be provided)  
WO=MEN, in collaboration with PAX, would like to invite you for a lunch meeting with PAX’ project officers Vicky Apio and John William, both working among others on transitional justice and peace in South Sudan.   
South Sudan is at the brink of a man-made crisis lacking moral leadership and political will necessary to break the political deadlock in the country. Signatories of the peace agreement are in an almost permanent state of political difference and hatred towards one another. Considering the war in neighboring country Sudan, the current political and security situation in South Sudan and the non-commitment to fully implement the 2018 Agreement and conduct of the National Election in 2024, it is a recipe for a new war in South Sudan. A repeat of the 15th of December 2013 and the 8th of July 2016. This is not in the interest of the South Sudanese people who suffered for decades from war and trauma, nor internationally, with South Sudan being one of the worst refugee crises in the world with millions of people facing men-made and natural disasters. 

Vicky Apio Iligo is a South Sudanese national with a bachelor’s degree in development studies specialized in gender relations, currently undertaking a master’s degree in project planning and management. Vicky has worked with the organization for responsive governance in South Sudan in strategic leadership service, an initiative that brings out the best in all cultures and traditions in South Sudan. Before PAX she also worked as a Child development trainer on cultural and behavioral change. Since 2022, Vicky works with PAX as a project officer to strengthen civil courage and equal women opportunities in South Sudan. She is passionate to promote and raising awareness on the women peace and security agenda, research evolution methods and macro communities practices, women inclusion in politics, comparative social policy. Vicky always seeks ways and opportunities to encourage the participation of girls and boys, women and men in achieving change towards a long-term durable peace in South Sudan.   
PAX promotes Strengthening Civil Courage, Equal Women Opportunities and Leaders of Peace
Through the Strengthening Civil Courage, Equal Women Opportunities projects in South Sudan, she aims to contribute to a gender sensitive transitional justice system to improve accountability and advocacy on women rights, equal women opportunities and pro-active peacebuilding at subnational and national levels. Together with the PAX South Sudan team, she supports different partners and stakeholders at the national and subnational levels, including Women Advocates to improve and expand peacebuilding and women rights advocacy on key issues like the much needed Permanent Constitution-making process in South Sudan.  Vicky and colleague John William will be visiting the Netherlands to join an evidence based advocacy training at PAX head office sharing enthusiasm, motivation, ideas and strategies for crucial peace work together in an increasingly challenging global environment. 

John William Malwil is a South Sudanese national born in Maridi, Western Equatoria, living in Juba. He joined PAX in 2019 as project officer supporting the Action Plan for Peace (APP) under the ecumenical guidance of the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC). He graduated from University of Juba majored in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies. He was tasked with supervision of first aid workers and medical evacuations of sick and wounded during the first Sudanese civil war and taught the fundamental principles of the Law of Armed Conflict (IHL) to members of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), police services, and school children prior to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005.   
PAX promotes the nation-wide and church-led Action Plan for Peace in South Sudan
The Action Plan for Peace (APP) is a home grown, long-term, nation-wide and church-led peace process to address root causes of the conflict working towards durable solutions for peace in South Sudan, a young nation suffering from decades of war, a traumatized population and natural disasters from climate change. William together with PAX South Sudan team, support partners in states like Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria, Unity, Upper Nile and with the South Sudan Council of Churches at national level and inter-church forums- committees at subnational level in places like Torit, Nimule, Kapoeta, Malakal, Bentiu, Mayom, Paniyjiar, and Yei, promoting the APP through Advocacy, Reconciliation and Trauma Healing and Neutral Forum work providing space for local communities in conflict and community armed groups to articulate their positions on issues of conflict with the ultimate aim of reaching an agreement to reconcile disputes and transform conflicts. William works with church leaders, women and youth on issues of peace and nonviolence urging them to scan the context, develop advocacy messages to guide the people on such issues of importance and on the national peace process while encouraging and enabling the grassroots communities to own and articulate their positions and linking them up with the national level peace activities and actors and vice versa.  
Outcries from women and children for support towards peaceful solutions to avoid a return to war 
Following unsuccessful conclusions of the peace and reconciliation conference in Tambura in March 2024, the situation rapidly deteriorated in April and May due to elites manipulation and fresh communal confrontations leaving scores of people killed and villages set ablaze. "Today as we speak, we still receive calls from local church pastors from Tambura with lamentations and cries of women and children yearning for peace and stability and requesting for support and to be given a chance just to tend to their families and farmlands in order to avoid a looming hunger that may hit the area in August if people are not facilitated to cultivate their farms.” Support is needed to these outcries from women leaders across the globe, together with the prophetic voice of united church leaders at this crucial moment in time to reach out through advocacy and peace dialogue, reconciliation and trauma healing work to its traumatized people and the disgruntled armed youth groups in densely forested and remote villages that are being used by vigilantes as a cover to vent their frustrations and dismay with elites on innocent and poor community members in the periphery of the country. 

During the lunch session Vicky and John would like to engage in particular on the need for gender sensitive transitional justice in South Sudan and to improve accountability and advocacy on women rights, equal women opportunities and pro-active peacebuilding at subnational and national levels through the church-led Action Plan for Peace.           
Do you want to join the lunch session? Please register with Roseanne Trijsburg via
Deadline for registration: Friday 21 June.