UN Police train South Sudanese counterparts on community policing and human rights

unmiss south sudan yambio western equatoria state humanity human rights detainees community policing

Senior police officers in Yambio pondering humanity, human rights and community policing at a workshop organized by UN Police. Photos: Martin Siba/UNMISS

17 Jun 2021

UN Police train South Sudanese counterparts on community policing and human rights

Martin Siba/Filip Andersson

Human rights and how to build a good relationship with the citizens they serve were top of the agenda when UN police officers trained some of their South Sudanese counterparts in Western Equatoria State.

For some of the thirty senior officers attending the workshop, the material covered offered some real eye-openers.

“As I have learned and now understand human rights, I realize that it’s very important for us to live together with the communities, because in one way or another they are human beings like us,” said Teresina Dominic, a police officer working in Yambio.

Humanity most certainly encompasses citizens who have been detained or jailed as suspected or confirmed criminals as well. Explaining and promoting their rights and correct treatment while under police custody was another important part of the two-day-long educational session, as was a lengthy discussion on how to prevent and deal with incidents of gender-based violence.

Despite the fact that most of the participating senior officers have worked as law enforcement agents for many years, many of them had never received any similar kind of capacity building. For others, training served as a great refresher.

“This is inspiring. The workshop has added more knowledge and skills to me as a professional. After this, I will be better equipped to act in the right way while I’m at work,” said Captain Arashid Adam, who will certainly follow fellow trainee Colonel Joseph Sasa’s instruction to share their new insights with as many colleagues as possible.

Colonel Ilya Vlasov, a police officer serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, was pleased with the knowledge-sharing session with his national counterparts, explaining that these efforts will reduce criminality in the long term.

“We conduct these trainings give our South Sudanese colleagues a greater vision which allows them to adapt better practices, in line with international human rights standards, in their work. Better policing means that security in Yambio town and surrounding villages will improve,” he said.

Building the knowledge and skills of the South Sudan National Police Service is in line with the peacekeeping mission’s mandate to strengthen the institutional capacity of every link in the country’s justice system.