The African Human Rights Day is an annual opportunity to celebrate and advocate the full enjoyment of all human rights by everyone across the African continent.

EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, October 21, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The success of this quest is the collective responsibility of all: African men and women, governments, institutions, non-governmental organisations and the entire civil society.

The presence of UNAMID and other international partners in Darfur is testimony to this endeavour. Different components and individuals of UNAMID are engaged, on a daily basis, in myriad activities; providing services in camps for internally displaced persons (IDP) and communities that are ameliorating the human and infrastructural capacity of various stakeholders. They work towards creating a more humane Darfur and to instill deeper awareness of human rights in the region.

Be it IDP leaders, women’s representatives, youth mobilisers, native administrators, leaders of faith groups, NGO members or officials of the state (the judiciary, police, penitentiary, military and intelligence services), the awareness and obligation to uphold human rights is an indispensable test to their individual and collective responsibility.

The fight against impunity and the timely rendering of justice remain veritable measures to indicate how successful we all are in ensuring that awareness and observance of human rights are gaining grounds in Darfur.

This year, our central theme is “the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights is our collective responsibility.”

Over the past decade, Darfur has encountered considerable challenges. No doubt, the level of the conflict, which gravely impacted on the human rights of the populace, has relatively declined. Yet far too many people, nevertheless, still face challenges to their rights.

The promotion and protection of these rights — the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, to peaceful assembly and association, and to take part in government, fair trial, education, health care, peace and security are guaranteed by Article 25 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

If all Darfuris — women, men, youths, persons with disabilities, IDPs, refuges, host communities, the poor and marginalised —have their fundamental rights adhered to, this would translate into a significant contribution to the peace and development of Darfur.

It is therefore our collective responsibility to ascertain the promotion and protection of these rights.