Unity State benefits from UN security projects

18 Jul 2013

Unity State benefits from UN security projects

18 July 2013 - Aiming to improve response to emergencies, 12 police officers in Unity State completed radio communication training today at the UNMISS compound in the state capital Bentiu.

Police officers from Abiemnom and Rubkona counties attended the three-day training, which was organized by the UN Development Programme Community Security and Small Arms Control (UNDP-CSAC) Project.

"I'm glad to see that crime will be better reported," said Sergeant Major Joseph Kong Riek, a participant from Rubkona Police Station. "Sometimes information from (distant) payams can be reported only by messengers on foot. With more police posts and more radios, we hope the security situation will gradually improve."

Another participant, Private Peter Riek from Abiemnom Police Station, said once information about the radios had filtered through to local residents, potential criminals would be discouraged in knowing that reports could reach police faster.

According to UNDP officials, trained officers will be deployed as Radio Operators at four new solar-powered police posts recently built in the two counties by South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) with support from the UNDP-CSAC Project.

"The new police posts were a result of community consultations from 2011 to 2012," said UNDP-CSAC Projects Communications and Reports Officer Charles Okwir. "The consultations, which were facilitated by the UNDP-CSAC Project with support from UNMISS, enabled communities in Unity state to identify projects that could help address their security concerns."

He added that UNDP-CSAC Project had responded to the findings and assisted the state government in establishing the police posts with financial support from the European Union (EU).

To help reduce conflicts over access to scarce water resources, UNDP-CSAC Project also provided 19 hand-pump boreholes. And it re-excavated and re-opened the Guit Canal to enable water from the River Nile to flow into Naam River, Mr. Okwir said.

"Cattle-keepers in the area don't have to trek seven kilometres ... and fight with other cattle keepers over access to water and pasture," he said.

The project also collaborated with UNMISS to support the South Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission in training "Peace Cadres" like traditional leaders in conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution techniques in Koch and Mayendit counties.

In addition, communities in Mayendit, Leer, Koch and Panyijiar counties received four tractors from the UNDP-CSAC Project to assist in improving food security.