NBEG chiefs learn human rights and jurisdiction

21 Oct 2013

NBEG chiefs learn human rights and jurisdiction

19 October 2013 - Some 25 customary chiefs from Aweil, Northern Bahr El-Ghazal State (NBEG), concluded a two-day workshop today on basic human rights and court jurisdiction.

Participants of the training, which was organized by UNMISS, said they could redraw the boundary between customary (non-criminal cases) and statutory courts based on knowledge they had gained.

“We will handle cases only under our jurisdiction,” said Deng Akot Aruu, executive chief of Maper Akot Court. “We will not deal with cases of murder or other serious criminal offences.”

David Dhieu, deputy chief of Hai Toch Court, said criminal offenses like rape of underage girls was prevalent in his area, but access to statutory courts was limited.

“There are no judges to handle criminal offences in our area and this is a serious challenge,” said Mr. Dhieu.

Opening the workshop yesterday, state Governor Paul Malong Awan urged participants to use what they learned. “Listen carefully … how to respect human rights, respect of each and every individual right,” he said. “Do not leave it here, take it and let people see you practicing what you gained.”

Participants asked UNMISS to organize similar trainings so they could provide better services to communities.

UNMISS State Coordinator Seth Kumi told trainees the mission would assist in government capacity building efforts at all levels.