UNMISS Deputy Police Commissioner visits displaced persons camp in Bentiu
With the UN Protection Site in Bentiu having transitioned into a more conventional camp for internally displaced people (IDPs), United Nations Police (UNPOL) officers are working closely together with local policing counterparts to ensure the safety and security of displaced persons residing here.
“Our job as UNMISS continues to be the same,” said Mutasem Almajali, Deputy Police Commissioner of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, on a recent visit to Bentiu. “We are here to make sure all civilians are protected and our partners from the South Sudan National Police Service are equipped with every skill they require to ensure the security of displaced people living in the camp.”
Deputy Commissioner Almajali’s visit to Unity state is part of a similar series of travels by senior UNPOL personnel across South Sudan to ensure that no operational gaps remain following the re-designation of erstwhile Protection Sites, which now fall under the sovereign control of the Government of South Sudan. “Our UNPOL officers are co-locating with SSNPS at many of these camps and are also co-patrolling,” stated Mr. Almajali.
During his visit, the Deputy Commissioner also met with representatives from the displaced community and explained the change in the UNPOL role, which is now moving from providing direct technical assistance into a more advisory function.
“As mandated, we are now focusing on building the capacity and skills of our national policing counterparts from the SSNPS,” said Deputy Commissioner Almajali. “We are committed to increasing the role of community-oriented policing and stand ready to build capacity in this regard as well,” he added.
Furthermore, Deputy Commissioner Almajali highlighted the collaboration between UNMISS, the SSNPS and the UN Country Team. “As UNPOL officers, we regularly engage with national police and humanitarian partners to make sure that displaced people in these camps are safe, secure and have access to basic services. It is a joint effort and I’m very pleased to see that it is working well in Bentiu. In the event of any major security incident, UNPOL is always on hand to respond,” he averred.
The Deputy Commissioner’s two-day visit was appreciated by the displaced community and humanitarians alike.