UNMISS builds capacities of South Sudanese police officers in Torit on conducting thorough investigations

UNMISS UNPOL capacity building training SSNPS south sudan torit eastern equatoria peacekeeping united nations un peacekeeping

Some 20 South Sudanese police officers have been trained by UNPOL officers serving with UNMISS on important investigative techniques to build their capacities in protecting citizens more effectively. Photo by Okello James/UNMISS.

15 Mar 2022

UNMISS builds capacities of South Sudanese police officers in Torit on conducting thorough investigations

Okello James

EASTERN EQUATORIA—“Part of our job as United Nations Police officers is to help our local counterparts in South Sudan to hone their policing skills,” says Namanya Apollo, an UNPOL officer serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Police Adviser Apollo and his colleagues, therefore, ran a series of trainings for 20 officers from the South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) in Torit, Eastern Equatoria. The main aim: To improve their understanding of thorough investigative procedures, especially about criminal proceedings.

Additionally, the two-day course addressed frequent challenges faced by local law enforcement while protecting and serving communities.

“I think one of the primary challenges many of us face as South Sudanese police officers is differences in training. We have colleagues who have received a lot of training, and therefore, are more advanced in terms of their policing ability than their peers, while others lack the knowledge and expertise necessary to do our job well,” said Colonel Matthew Ochan, Police Spokesperson for Eastern Equatoria.

“However, we must all be on the same page when it comes to our knowledge of police ethics and investigative skills. It’s not merely enough to know how to arrest a suspect,” he added.

To counter some of these issues, participants were drawn from a number of different departments with the hope that they would, in turn, trickle down the knowledge they gained to their peers and subordinates.

During the sessions, the officers learned best practices to help minimize errors when conducting interviews with victims, suspects or witnesses.

“I have benefited greatly from numerous trainings delivered by UNPOL officers, including accepted codes of conduct for police, human rights and investigative skills,” stated Joska Abalo, a participant. “This is a helpful refresher course and I am continuing to pass on the information I receive in such workshops to my colleagues. This helps us become better officers and fully uphold the law.”

The SSNPS leadership in the state was appreciative and supportive of this initiative.