The remote community of Rimenze has been through a lot.
Family and friends were brutally killed during the civil war that erupted in South Sudan six years ago. People were forced to flee their homes in 2016 because of the ongoing violence, seeking sanctuary at a displacement camp next to a local church. But still, they were not safe. There have recently been incidents of abduction, looting and gender-based violence against members of the community.
In an effort to support the displaced families, the human rights division of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan travelled to the area to train 300 residents living at the camp how to protect and respect human rights as well as reporting violations and abuses.
“I have seen a girl who was raped, and she was afraid to report it which is not good,” said Joyce Mathew, a participant in the training session. “What I have learnt is how to report rape cases. I will advise women not to keep quiet but to report cases to the police. I will also report these cases in my village and help the victim get treatment.
UNMISS human rights officer, Okwa Morphy, said the training session was designed to raise awareness amongst the community about violations and abuses and how they can report incidents so they can be investigate and action taken against the perpetrators.
“We have been able to enlighten those living in the camp about human rights in general, their duties and responsibilities, and the fact that they must ensure that they report incidents when they come across violations.”
Chief of the Rimenze payam, Angelo Kumuko, said the community felt empowered by their new understanding of how to respond to rape cases and other human rights violations.
“The issue of human rights is good,” he said. “It helps people psychologically if they know their rights and their responsibilities as well as the rights of others.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).