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Rights organization urges youths to fight for their rights

By Morris Dogga

The South Sudan Human Rights Commission has called on the country’s youth to stand up and fight for their rights.

During his presentation on the topic: Conduct Civic Education on Basic Fundamental Human Rights, Bill of Rights and Gender Equality, at Upper Nile University in Gudele Wednesday, panellist Beny Gideon Mabor, Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission said people’s voices will be listened to if they raise concerns.

“We have enough to remind the government on rights in this particular point but youth have a role to stand and support our advocacy,” Mabor told students.

He said the commission has always advocated for people’s rights but circumstances do not allow sometimes due to the security situation of the country.

“To be sincere, there is no human security in South Sudan since we still have lots of arms in the hands of citizens. The killing has always happened but we sometimes help in the process of investigation and we make sure the perpetrators are brought to the courts of law,” he added citing the murderers of Professor Bol Chol, a former lawyer and University of Juba lecturer killed earlier in January this year.  Mabor said Chol’s murderers are going to face justice.

Prof. Bol Chol was reportedly shot dead on a boda boda by a man in uniform, a few moments after purchasing items for his family at a nearby shop in Gudele.

The university students questioned the commission’s inability to fulfil its mandate.

Athon Deng, a student at Upper Nile University raised a concern over the commission’s silence on the rampant killings of innocent civilians by armed men at night.

Chol Makwach, also a student questioned how the poor citizens acquire a free and fair trial if the system is porous.

He said citizens are not allowed to exercise their rights, especially during employment opportunities and/or nomination for positions.  He asked how the human rights commission would help fight this phenomenon.

Commissioner Mabor said the body has always been advocating for a rightful nomination or employment put the right person to the right positions. 

“Everyone has a right to fair judgment regardless of their financial capabilities. It’s the role of the judiciary to provide a lawyer to any person who is confirmed incapable of acquiring one,” he explained.

Meanwhile, feminist Awin James asked the commission why it’s not fighting for the rights of girls who always fall prey to parents who force them to marry early. She stressed that women and girls should be given the right to choose a marriage partner.

Mabor said there are full rights for any citizen at the marriageable age of 18 years. He said young women at this age have the right to get married to any person of their choice.

“It’s a violation of human rights when a woman is forced to marry a person she does not like, forced to marry before reaching the marriageable age [18] and it is chargeable at the courts of laws in South Sudan,” Mabor assured students in a public lecture organized by Okay Africa Foundation with funding from Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).

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