Chairman of the Kambia District Human Rights Committee has said that high cost of living and poverty are the biggest potential threats to the current state of peace and stability in the district.
Foday S. Dumbuya was speaking Monday, 14 March, at an event organised by the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone to engage stakeholders on their State of Human Rights Report 2014 and Treaty Body Mechanism.
He said they were faced with a number of challenges which greatly hamper the promotion and protection of human rights in that part of the country.
According to him, because the district was closer to the Guinean border, business people were making the lives of residents miserable by inflating the cost of foodstuff, a situation he claimed threatens peace in the district because those who cannot afford have resorted to stealing.
“A plate of rice in Kambia is 10,000 as compared to 6,000 in Makeni and 4,000 in Waterloo. Basic commodities are taken to Guinea. Trading now fit those that are rich whilst the average becomes poorer,” he said.
He commended the British High Commission for providing funds to the country’s human rights body to undertake such engagement in the district on its 2014 report.
Second in-command at the Kambia Correctional Centre, Alhassan Sesay, noted that they have been practising the protection of human rights in relation to the upkeep of inmates in their facility and praised HRCSL for the partnership in upholding the principles of human rights.
Also, head of Political Section at the British High Commission, Annup Vyas, said the dissemination of the 2014 report was central to their vision of maintaining and strengthening human rights and encouraged everyone to speak out.
She added that so far 2016 has been an eventful period for Sierra Leone as the country had been subjected to review at the Universal Period Review and the Constitutional Review Committee.
Commissioner Jamesina King stated that the commission had always endeavored to fulfill its statutory functions, which include investigating human rights violations, conducting public education, advising government on human rights issues, monitoring places of detention and producing reports every year.