Human rights defenders should not violate human rights

By Hon. Remijo Lasu Peter (MP)

 The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNIMISS) is one of the Human Rights Defenders. All its activities promote and protect Human Rights in South Sudan. However, there are some few complaints about the presence and some premises of UNMISS around Juba town, in regard to human rights violation.

UNMISS was given two temporary premises in Juba town by the then Central Equatoria state: one at Tongping near the airport and the other at Jebel Korok along the road to Yei. The official land would be allocated in written agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation and UNMISS, such that the premises become extra-territory, in line with the principle of extra-territoriality. The decentralized states such as Central Equatoria state have no legal mandate to write an agreement with UNMISS or any foreign diplomatic mission in South Sudan without formal authorization by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional cooperation.

The mission needs to be relocated due to the following reasons: First the airport need to be expanded, the presence of the mission in the premises hinders the development of the airport.

Secondly, the mission premise in Jebel Korok, along Yei road encroached into civilian plots, which is a violation of Human Rights; the right to a shelter as enshrined in Article11 (1) of the International Covenant of Economic Social and Cultural Rights 1966. The owners of the plots suffered silently under rent for a period of two years, it is high time now for UNMISS to relieve those civil population from the yoke of rent.

Thirdly, the POC premises have been used by the UN peace keepers for sexual abuse. It is unbecoming for UN to place military men who left their families very far for quite long period of time with vulnerable women in virginity, apparently it is risky to place lions to guard sheep; they will definitely feast on those sheep. Articles 6 of the International Covenant on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women 1979, mandates UNMISS as Human Rights Defender to suppress all forms of women trafficking including prostitution. Ironically, such human rights violators give periodic report on human rights violations in South Sudan to the Security Council to enforce extension of their hedonism, which portrays conflict of interest.

The author is a Member of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly representing Constituency no.13, Morobo County. He can be reached via email: p.lasu@yahoo.co.uk


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