Some 400 representatives of security forces, state bodies and civil society in Gabu, eastern Guinea-Bissau, have recommended the formation of a commission to monitor the observance of human rights in the area.
The recommendation was made at a workshop held in Gabu late last week, and organised by the UN Office for Peace-Building Support (UNOGBIS) in conjunction with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Dakar and the Guinea-Bissau government, a source close to the organisers told IRIN.
The proposed commission would comprise representatives of the police, military, state authorities and communities. Its role would include discussing human rights problems when they arise, and organising meetings and other initiatives in the area of human rights.
The meeting was organised in the wake of tension arising from abuses committed in the area by the police and military who, the source said, often take on the duties that fall outside their mandate, such as holding court and imposing fines. The area, which shares borders with Senegal and Guinea, is also plagued by cross-border cattle rustling.
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