Prominent activist Edmund Yakani won the “African Outstanding Professional Award” for his peace and human rights activism in the country.
Yakani, the Executive Director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), received the award in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Friday.
In a press statement after the award, Yakani said he dedicates the award to persons with disabilities and safety of journalists in South Sudan, Africa and the globe.
The activist appealed to leaders to cherish rule of law, respect human rights and adopt zero tolerance toward corruption.
‘The time has come for them to make Africa a great continent of peace. Our current leaders in power, I would like to urge them that they need to respect democratic principles respect for the rule of law human rights, adherence to civilian rule and zero tolerance to corruption,” he said in the recorded message.
“For these values to prevail, I would like to urge our current leaders in power to resolve their political differences through dialogue and because absence of dialogue now we are seeing violence prevailing in Africa.”
“I would like to ask our current African leaders in Africa that you are in power, but the power belongs to the public. Don’t make the power to empower you to enslave your our own citizens Africans.”
Mr Yakani holds a degree in Political Studies from the University of Juba, a degree in Law from the University of Juba College of Law and a diploma on Gender and Paralegal Aid from Khartoum Academic.
He has worked for a number of organizations such as the African Security Sector Network, ACCORD South Africa and the Overseas Development Institute.
The activist and his civil society colleagues braved grueling campaigns for an end to hostilities amid the civil war.
He also became notable for putting pressure on the warring parties to revert to the negotiating table – leading to the 2018 revitalized peace deal.