Communities Urged To Be Tolerant

On the occasion to mark the Human Rights Day, the Eastern Equatoria State Minister of Culture and Social Development, Patrick Lodinga Kotein condemned a section of criminals ambushing and killing people along the Torit-Kapoeta road.

Communities Urged To Be Tolerant And Respect Minority
The leaders have been urged to grant the minority women opportunities to represent themselves in the government so they are able to speak their voice and become decision makers..[Gurtong | File]

By Peter Lokale Nakimangole
TORIT, 11 December 2012 [Gurtong] –
The minister was harsh on issues of human rights violations by individuals across the state and warned that should they continue, the government will take action against them.
 He called on tribes who are currently in conflicts with each others to respect and show tolerance as the new nation grows to catch up with international standards of practising human rights tolerance as that is why South Sudanese fought for liberation.

“Respect rights of others; do not eliminate others’ rights. Am seeing other people’s rights have been violated and eliminated at day broad light being on the highway while travelling, while grazing their own cattle, at shops among others. This is very serious as the state is keen to see those responsible be brought to the book of justice,” he said.
He explained that the day is observed each year internationally as a reminder to the public to respect other rights as well as not to eliminate lives by killing others innocently just because one wants to become rich through such acts.
“In our present society, some people deny other people rights to live. They kill others to get cattle so they make wealth and pride. All of us deserve equal rights and treatment. Let us stop eliminating rights of others. What has been happening in Eastern Equatoria State on cattle rustling reflects our image outside there,” the Minister said.

The leaders have been urged to grant the minority women opportunities to represent themselves in the government so they are able to speak their voice and become decision makers.

Acting UNMISS State Coordinator Mr. Mohamed Khan quoted the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s statement ‘International law is clear, No matter who you are, or where you live, your voice counts.  On this Day, let us unite to defend your right to make it heard’.

 He also called on the government of the Republic South Sudan to allow and create friendly atmosphere on free participation of civil society activists in the country.
He said that until now, too many groups and individuals face far too many obstacles saying while women have the right to vote nearly universally, nevertheless they remain hugely under-represented in parliaments and peace processes, in senior government posts and corporate boardrooms, and in other decision-making positions.
Mr. Khan who was reading the Ban Ki Moon cited that indigenous people of any country not necessarily South Sudan frequently end up facing discrimination that denies them opportunity to make full use of their guaranteed rights.
He gave example of religious and ethnic minorities within civil society groups in addition to people with disabilities are habitually disadvantaged from taking part in key institutions and processes.
The UNMISS’ representative said Institutions and public dialogue need to represent societies in all their diversity.
He noted that even in societies with a good track record, no country has succeeded in ensuring that all its inhabitants are able to participate fully in public affairs, including the right to be elected to public office and to have equal access to public services.
He said enacting new rights or removing unjust laws is not always sufficient and too often, discrimination persists in practice, creating barriers and mindsets that can be hard to overcome.

Mr. Khan noted that in quite number of Countries in the world, alarming threats to hard-won gains in democratic governance have been seen while in several countries, civil society groups have been witnessed facing growing pressures and restrictions on them by their respective governments.
He added that some of these countries decided to introduce legislations targeting the civil society organizations in attempt to making them impossible to operate.
Underlining the right to participate with associated rights that make it possible such as freedom of expression and opinion, and peaceful assembly and association, the UNMISS representative Khan underscored the importance of civil society affirming that vibrant civil society groups are among the keys functioning of any nation and warned the government give them full respect saying the United Nations deplores measures taken to suppress them.
Enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and fully integrated in international law, especially in article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Mr. Khan stressed, “Everyone has the right to be heard and to shape the decisions that affect their community.”

He also cautioned parents to respect rights of children by enrolling them to school so their future prospers because education is their right.
 “Let us give rights to children, send them to school, give them respect, show them human rights because they will take from us the leadership of the country,” he said.
Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December.

The date was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.

The formal establishment of Human Rights Day occurred at the 317th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on 4 December 1950, when the General Assembly declared resolution 423(V), inviting all member states and any other interested organizations to celebrate the day as they saw fit.

The day is normally marked both by high-level political conferences and meetings and by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues. In addition, it is traditionally on 10 December that the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and Nobel Peace Prize are awarded.

Many governmental and nongovernmental organizations active in the human rights field also schedule special events to commemorate the day, as do many civil and social-cause organisations.

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