As peace slowly returns to Tambura, Western Equatoria, after protracted conflict, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is making all efforts to consolidate the fragile stability here.
Recently, civil society representatives from Tambura and neighbouring Ezo and Nagero counties, received a training from the UN Peacekeeping mission on fostering respect for human rights, as well as monitoring and reporting on any violations of these rights.
“It was a long overdue training for me to learn about monitoring human rights violations because we have lived through such violations ourselves. They have become commonplace unfortunately,” said Mary Onorio from Ezo.
“I believe it is critical for every community member to be aware of their own rights and ensure that these rights are consistently upheld. It is only by being fully educated about our own rights that we will be able to protect others. I have been trained by UNMISS and now it is my duty to train others,” she added.
For Charles Peter Udo from Nagero, monitoring human rights is always difficult but with the right skill set, challenges can be mitigated.
“Thanks to this in-depth training, I now have the knowledge to deal with human rights violations more professionally and it gives me the chance to investigate and report according to globally accepted standards,” he said with a smile.
As South Sudan gears up to transition into a full-fledged democracy with its first-ever elections scheduled to take place in 2024, human rights for all citizens is now more critical than ever.
It is on this note that Moses Masi Sere, Deputy Executive Director, Tambura county, addressed participants.
“Both civil society organizations and the government will play a large part in organizing free, fair, peaceful elections and we cannot do this if our citizens’ rights aren’t respected. This training in upholding human rights for all is, therefore, essential and timely,” he stated.
“Civil society representatives are always human rights defenders, and this training aims to strengthen their abilities at this critical time in South Sudan’s history,” concluded Justine Rotto, a Human Rights Assistant from the UNMISS Field Office in the state.
Similar trainings are scheduled by the UN Peacekeeping mission in upcoming months.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).