Wau workshop stresses democratic principles

2 May 2013

Wau workshop stresses democratic principles

1 May 2013 - It was vital for lawmakers in Western Bahr El-Ghazal to uphold democracy in building up the nation of South Sudan, State Governor Rizik Zachariah Hassan said in Wau today.

Mr. Hassan was speaking at a workshop organized by UNMISS for legislators on governance, human rights and rule of law, part of a series of outreach events the mission is organizing in the state.

"In the past, various challenges ... led the state to face issues (that affected) good governance, human rights and ... the rule of law," said Mr. Hassan.

In December 2012, protests in Wau resulted in civilian deaths, damaged property and the temporary displacement of thousands of people, who sought refuge at the UNMISS base. Trials of those detained in connection with the violence are ongoing.

UNMISS State Coordinator Winnie Babihuga said the workshop was also an avenue for lawmakers to better understand the nature and role of the mission.
Participants covered topics ranging from understanding rights to challenges like lack of manpower in the judiciary.

One legislator, Mario Nyibango John, noted the importance of addressing the dowry issue, as it was a key factor leading to cattle raids.

Another concern raised was the need to find ways of including women and youth in government, especially those in remote rural areas.