Traditional chiefs trained in human rights in Malakal

17 Oct 2013

Traditional chiefs trained in human rights in Malakal

17 October 2013 - To boost awareness of human rights among customary leaders, UNMISS held a workshop in partnership with the Upper Nile government for 35 traditional chiefs today in the capital Malakal.

The training, organized by the mission in collaboration with the state Ministry of Local Government and Law Enforcement, focused on the role traditional chiefs could play in advocating for human rights while implementing customary laws.

“As leaders of your people, (it is your duty to) help shape (a) future … that is not mired in conflict, but opens opportunities for people,” said UNMISS State Coordinator Deborah Schein.

“The challenge is to define a new future based on principles of human rights and those aspects of traditional culture that help define you as a people and allow you to live in peace and harmony with your neighbors,” she added.

In addition to topics like the rights of individuals to life and free movement, participants also discussed how to promote peaceful co-existence among their communities.

“It is good for us as community leaders to advocate for peace and security,” said Nuer Chief Jacob Pur Malow. “This is the path to our stability as a nation.”

Peaceful co-existence was vital for South Sudan’s progress and development, said Akon Mony Jock, a participant from the Dinka community.