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Disable feel discriminated and abandoned

By Okan Thomas Onyango

A disabled man who once served in the army is on the tarmac and feels so abandoned by his colleagues including his closed relatives.

In an exclusive interview with Juba Monitor, BolMacuorKulang, a disabled South Sudanese who did his military course in 1989, and served as a disabled person in Ethiopiaafter walking there on foot in 1986. His disability however did not hinder his prgress he also study and major in International Business Administration at the United States International University (USIU) in Kenya.

Despite being a graduate, Kulang speaks fluent Arabic, English and Kiswahili but according to him, he is being discriminated, mistreated and neglected because of his disability.

“We are being discriminated and mistreated. We are being ignored and nobody cares about us, others like me are given positions but am being told that I was not shot during the liberation. I was told that three times and that discouraged me because the disabled persons are not considered at all. Disability is not proven by bullet wounds only. Its definition is the same worldwide so even if we try what, the problem is with the system of governance itself because it only favors some people and people like us are not seen as disable. We are just dumped,” Kulangexpressed sadly.

Kulang appealed for help from nationalgovernment and international organizations so that he can also feel recognized and owning responsibilities.

“My appeal is that I should be given a chance to also serve the nation for the little time that has remained for me in this world. Let me serve my nation with dignity so that I can feel owning responsibility. Why are we being killed physically and psychologically as you can now see by yourself am nothing.”

“I would also like the President to think about us and give us our own rights, promote us in our workplaces even if we are then later told that we are nolonger needed in the army. But for now, give me a place to serve my country because one day those people will also be disable but they won’t be dumped the way we are,”Kulang charmed.

Kulang’s left foot paralyzes was caused by polio when he was young but later on felt on his right leg from a staircase while at Bilpham in 2015 according to what he termed as discrimination and negligence of people with disability as he was placed in an office with poor accessibility to it.

He however added that he also worked with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) but later resigned because ofdiscrimination and domination by foreigners thereciting that one of them once insulted him.

“I was once insulted by a foreigner when I was still working with UNOCHA telling me that am just a disabled person and am just being accommodated there. I couldn’t tolerate it as someone who did international human rights, so that alone discouraged me from searching for other jobs because automatically I will be neglected. The government doesn’t have people who would advocate on our behalf even CRC itself,” he added.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international human rights treaty of the United Nations intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. Parties to the Convention are required to promote, protect, and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities and ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy full equality under the law.

There are eight guiding principles that underlie the Convention, delineated in Article 3: and this includes; respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons, Non-discrimination, Full and effective participation and inclusion in society, Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity, Equality of opportunity, Accessibility, Equality between men and women and Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.

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