This fall, it’s 20 years since the first initiatives were taken, in Sweden, to form a network working towards the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Three years later, this network was transformed into the umbrella organization Operation 1325.
One of the first countries Operation 1325 chose to focus on was Sudan. In the group of women we collaborated with, was Kamilia Koura.
When I met Kamilia in Khartoum last June, she told me about how she became involved in the work for peace, democracy, human rights, and gender equality in Sudan. It began when she, as a young student in Khartoum, became aware of how people in her home region Nuba mountians were forced to leave their homes, due to armed conflicts and severe humanitarian hardships. Kamilia and a friend decided to help the internally displaced people who were placed in a camp far outside central Khartoum.
This was the beginning of NuWEDA (Nuba Women Education and Development Association). Over the years, NuWeda has received international recognition for its work, particularly for its efforts to empower women to participate in decision-making bodies and processes in the country.
The last time I spoke with Kamilia, was also in Khartoum, at the end of March this year. She was participating in a national conference on transitional justice that was part of the final phase of a plan intended to lead to a civilian takeover of power in the country. The military had finally agreed to hand over power to a civilian government. There were hopes that a civilian prime minister could be appointed before Ramadan ended, about four weeks later.
We know how this turned out. The two senior military officials who had jointly forced the civilian government to leave office, 18 months earlier suddenly turned against each other and plunged the country into intense and widespread armed conflicts.
During the fighting in Khartoum, Kamilia has told us about the lack of electricity, medicine, food, and water, and the fear to go outside due to the risks. She has also mentioned that she has been approached by internally displaced people who had difficulty even obtaining basic necessities.
Operation 1325 has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support Kamilia, and other women, to assist the civilian population in Sudan. Not least by utilizing women’s competences and work at the local level. Tthe objective is to already have funds available for the women in selected local organizations to begin rebuilding daily life, when possible and the security situation allow. The women we collaborate with know what is needed.
Help these women help by making a contribution to the Sudan Appeal.
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