IDP community watch group training closes in Juba

13 Feb 2015

IDP community watch group training closes in Juba

13 February 2015 - Members of community watch groups in UNMISS protection sites must remember to abide by the law and observe others’ human rights, a senior mission official said in Juba today.

UNMISS Deputy Police Commissioner Itendra Nair was speaking at the end of the third round of a training programme organized by the UN Police (UNPOL) Community Policing Unit for community watch groups from two protection sites in Juba.

The three-day training, aimed at providing the watch group with skills needed to create a safer environment in protection sites, covered topics like resolving conflicts, gender-based violence, local justice and benefits of visible patrols.

The programme also aimed to increase watch groups’ awareness of the benefits of working with partners and the need to understand issues faced by members of their communities, especially women and children.

“It is your responsibility and ours to ensure that all forms of criminal activities do not happen in the (protection sites) and that the grounds rules are enforced,” said Mr. Nair.

He said he hoped trainees would use the knowledge they had acquired as well as their own experiences and wisdom to work with UNPOL officers to ensure that safety and security was maintained.

The Deputy Police Commissioner expressed concern at the rate UNPOL officers on duty were being assaulted by internally displaced people (IDPs) they were protecting.

He stressed it did not augur well when people being protected were involved in injuring UNPOL officers there to provide them with security.

“UNPOL has been mandated by the UN to provide safety and security to IDPs,” he said. “There must be coordination and cooperation with each other to be able to provide that safety and security to the people.”

Mr. Nair also it was the community watch group’s to send the message down to people that UNMISS was here to protect them.

Peter Ntyilth Chol, camp chairman of a protection site, said the training would equip participants with knowledge to work well in protecting the community with support from UNPOL.

He apologized for the unruly behaviour of IDPs towards UNPOL officers on duty and promised to speak with them about ending such acts.

The Community Watch Group chairman, Peter Koang Kuwai, commended UNPOL officers for the good work they were doing in the protection sites and hoped they would continue to work together to prevent crime.