Sudan

Sudanese celebrate human rights

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Human Rights Day was celebrated throughout Sudan on 10 December with speeches, poetry, dances, football matches and military parades.

Warrap State residents gathered in Kuajok's Freedom Square, together with state ministers, UNMIS officials and members of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Addressing the rally, Andrew Kuach Mayo, Deputy Governor and Minister of Local Government and Law Enforcement Agency, said, "As we celebrate this important day, we need to resort to law and order and respect the human rights of all citizens."

UNMIS Wau Commander Col. John Warrioba noted discrimination and marginalization were key sources of recent human tragedies. "On this Human Rights Day, let us promise to support efforts to end discriminations and make peace not just as priority, but a passion."

Reading a message from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, UNMIS Human Rights Officer Erasmus Ndemole Migyikra Migyikra said, "We should unite together to eliminate any sort of discrimination against any fellow human being as it feeds mistrust, resentment, violence.......and makes no economic sense, since it reduces productivity."

In a similar event in Raja County of Western Bahr El-Ghazal State, more than 300 students from three secondary schools in the town joined UNMIS and government officials to mark the Day.

Mario Ada, Acting Commissioner of Raja County, said, "I ... would like to assure you that our state is ready to work with UNMIS to practice human rights in the area." He urged all organized forces in the county to abide by the rule of law and protect the rights of civilians.

He called on UNMIS Human Rights and local organizations to organize more human rights sessions for civil servants, students, the Joint Integrated Unit and the Sudan People's Liberation Army to equip them with basic knowledge in carrying out their duties.

In a celebration in Rumbek, attended by representatives of UNMIS, religious leaders, ministers, NGOs and students, the acting governor announced that he would visit the prison to ensure that all illegally detained inmates were released.

The Rumbek event also included a performance by the Lakes states police band as well as drama, poetry and dancing calling for an end to discrimination of women and other groups. The day ended with a football match involving the Dinka, Baland, Darfurians, Ugandans and UNMIS staff.

Human Rights Day was also celebrated in several other Sudanese cities, including Khartoum and Juba. The Day marked the 61st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.