Hundreds of participants, including women and youth groups, students, community leaders, native administration, local authorities and African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) staff, joined on 10 December the global celebration of Human Rights Day under the slogan "My Voice Counts." The Day was marked with several events throughout Darfur, including dances, traditional songs and drama.
In North Darfur, the events, organized by the Council for Child Welfare and UNAMID, were held in Shagra village, located about 20 kilometers south-west of El Fasher, and in Abu Shouk camp for internally displaced persons.
Addressing the participants in Shagra, the head of the North Darfur Council for Child Welfare, Ms. Khadija Adam Abdulmagid, expressed appreciation to the people for joining in the celebration of Human Rights Day, which is important for enlightening the community on their rights which are also included in the Sudanese Constitution.
The Mission's representatives read out statements from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
According to Ms. Pillay's statement, millions of people have taken to the streets over the past few years, demanding civil, political, economic, social or cultural rights, and asking for their right to participate fully in important decisions and policies affecting their daily lives.
The UN Secretary-General's message reiterated that everyone has the right to be heard and to shape the decisions that affect their community. "International law is clear: No matter who you are, or where you live, your voice counts. On this Day, let us unite to defend your right to make it heard."
Mohammed Abdulrahman Salah, a representative of Shagra village, appreciated the activities which raised awareness on human rights issues and called for more assistance in the provision of basic services and infrastructure in the region.