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Internally displaced debate on the way to unify court fines

Participants posed for a group photo

By William Maduok Garang

Members from the Protection of Civilian site (POC) in Bentiu of Unity State on Monday held a one-day deliberation to find and formulate ways to unify court fines in local courts across Unity State.

This was revealed during a day-long 2nd session of public discourse on human rights awareness and gender equality session organized by Action for Conflict Resolution (ACR) with funding from Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).

The event that was organized in POC site in Bentiu brought together about 50 participants from various community leaders such as MPs, chiefs, youth, women, joint police, members of IDPs camp and many others. Themed “engaging youth in the democratic process in Bentiu”

The program Manager of ACR, Peter Gatkuoth explained that the debate was recommended, adding that you may find pregnancy case is charged differently from one court to another.

“How people have been fined is different, some may pay about 3 cows in kind and others pay in money, if they pay in money some charges around SSP 270,000 or SSP 300,000, and some are being charged about SSP 450,000,” Gatkuoth explained.

“We see that there are differences we’re trying to find ways where these legal services that is given in POC or IDP camp and the one that they normally do in town centers, should be collaborated or should have some census. At least, they will come up with one solution if they want to fine; I.e. if it’s a revenge killing or any other cases, it should be something that is on the uniform on both sides,” he added.

Angelina Nyamngou, the beneficiaries in Bentiu IDP camp, decried about how youngsters from both genders left the schools and intricated themselves in fighting one another urging authority to offer solutions. 

“We call on the government of national unity to strive and take those boys from the streets and build for their shelters, teach and educate them to bring them to our system as South Sudanese,” Nyamngou asked. 

“We ask for peace in South Sudan, when there is peace in South Sudan it can solve all these problems. If peace prevails government can be able do its job and upkeep laws and order and people or IDPs can return. We are demanding peace so that all these problems come to an end,” she added.

Deputy Chairman of Bentiu Youth Forum, Pout Kuol who is one of the participants said that most youths don’t know their rights, and as a result, he would do everything possible to teach others what he had learned.

 “We need to engage some people including those in the grassroots those people should know their rights that is actually what should be done,” Kuol said.

“As a youth forum deputy leader chairman, I am ready to preach human rights and gender equality that we were trained on this morning. In any meeting I will share it with people also on any occasion I will talk about it, I am ready 100% to preach what I have learned,” he added.

Mr. Kuol advised youths to stop fighting one another, especially retribution killing but be peace agents, and come together as one big family.  

“I advise my fellow colleague youth to participate in the peace process, let’s unite and come as one big family in one nation and avoid gang or revenge killings,” he noted.

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