“I don’t see government as a thing high up and far away. It’s us, the people, who are the government. We should do what we can, here and now. Together we can find out, perhaps, where they have gone and get the process started,” said one attendee at a recent Rule of Law forum held in Torit, speaking out during a discussion on the recent abduction of several children.
The spike in child abduction in and around Torit troubled many attendees, who spent a significant amount of time proposing solutions to recover the children and prevent future occurrences, including community policing, engaging UNMISS for information sharing, and cracking down on the sale of candy often used to lure young children.
At the August edition of the forum, more than 50 people attended, representing local communities, law enforcement agencies, and government. Collective responsibility for local security was a reoccurring theme across all sectors.
In addition to child abduction, the meeting touched on juvenile recidivism rates, construction of police posts, awareness-raising campaigns, general insecurity, and root causes of gender-based violence.
Also on hand were state officials from several ministries, including the State Minister of Local Government and Law Enforcement Hon. Dr. Ukidi Ugura, who chaired the discussions.
“Our community is built in a way that controversial issues are impossible for one person or one institution to solve on their own. In Torit, the Rule of Law forum has brought on board many actors and I am proud to contribute to cultivating these human relationships,” said Dr. Ugura.
“Through implementing the law, we can co-exist and respect human dignity. The climax of this work will be peace -- but it will be a peace that comes as a result of sorting out our differences while preserving the rights of all people, as enshrined in our Constitution,” he continued.