Unity commissioners learn human rights, governance

22 Nov 2013

Unity commissioners learn human rights, governance

22 November 2013 - Seeking to improve human rights in Unity State, including conditions for prisoners, UNMISS held a workshop for nine county and police commissioners today in the capital Bentiu.

Unity State Deputy Governor Mabek Lang said the training, which focused on international and national human rights as well as good governance, followed a high number of arrests in Mayom County.

“The prison is very crowded with over 100 (prisoners),” he said. “Some people have died, they don’t have food and the environment is bad.”

The governor said some arrests, such as those for witchcraft, were not based on the constitution, code of proceedings or Police Act. “Today I want you as commissioners and police commissioners to … take (this knowledge) back to your people and put it in place.”

Mayom County Comissioner Peter Dak Kan said the state government was committed to improving human rights. “We have identified areas that actually violate the human rights. I believe we will try our best to correct these things.”

He added that participants would share knowledge they had gained with their county subordinates.

UNMISS Acting State Coordinator Mary Cummins highlighted UNMISS’ role in South Sudan and called for commissioners to render services to their communities.

“There are four priority areas for UNMISS -- that is, protection of civilians, conflict prevention, extension of state authority and peacebuilding,” she said. “In all of these areas, UNMISS will help build capacity by offering trainings, workshops and co-location in the states.”