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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

C. Equatorian official donates to disabled in South Sudan

By Isaac Vuni

December 3, 2008 (JUBA) – The Deputy Governor and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of Central Equatoria state Manase Lomule Waya today donated 15,000 Sudanese pounds to persons with disabilities. The amount is to be shared among three groups: the disabled, deaf and blind, with each getting SDG 5000.

Commemorating International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan, under the theme “Disability is not Inability,” Waya emphasized that persons with disabilities have all rights to justice like any other persons and therefore deserved to be treated with love and respect, including training in all fields in order to enable them to become self-supporting rather than going round begging.

The organizing chairman, Cornelio Wani Lado, appealed to Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) and state government to allocate five percent of all job positions to persons with disabilities. He also urged provision of wheelchairs and hearing devices, and to ease restrictions on freedom of expression and opinion.

Waya assured disabled that their five percent of affirmative action has been enacted in a GOSS legal document and the GOSS President Salva Kiir Mayardit is willing to listen and support their needs in organized ways.

“I want to assure you that we in the government of Southern Sudan love, respect and care for you in order to secure decent jobs like any Sudanese, but you must first be organized,” remarked Waya.

Meanwhile, Minister of Social Development of Central Equatoria State Hellen Woro promised to support and listen to complaints raised by disabled persons and the same message was repeated by Eluzai Leju, director for social development.

The chairman of the disabled persons’ association of southern Sudan disclosed that during the war there were only 833 registered members but after signing of the CPA that ended the 22-year civil war, their number increased to over 1500. Yet he said that their allotted share is being grabbed by some selfish politicians who are colluding with some key people dealing with land distribution, particularly in Central Equatoria state.

Lado appealed to governments to ensure persons with disabilities enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms like other Sudanese, in accordance with articles 12 and 13 of the UN convention. He also noted that women are frequently discriminated against.

GOSS should put effective measures to guarantee habitation and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, he said, including collection of statistics and data on persons with disabilities for updated policy formulation in the ten states of Southern Sudan.

The chairman appealed to governments to each constitute a committee under its jurisdictions to implement and monitor the UN convention on disabilities, including promotion of regional and international cooperation among organizations dealing with disabled persons including adoption and ratification of the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.

The headquarters of war veterans was opened in Juba on August 18 to handle all cases of war veterans starting from 1955 to January 9, 2005 when the north-south civil war ended in a peace agreement, according to the office manager of Southern Sudan War Veterans Bol Akok Mayom.

Currently, artificial limbs are made in Juba and Rumbek ever since 2006 when the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) transferred the Lopiding workshop for wounded war veterans from a Kenyan border town. Over 15 local technicians are now trained by ICRC but certificate holders are reportedly being paid very little.