UNMISS hands over police posts in Western Equatoria to improve law and order
For the longest time, local police officers in remote Saura and Sakure, Western Equatoria, have been doing their best to maintain law and order in their respective administrative divisions by working under mango trees.
They had no detention facilities to hold suspects. Toilets were non-existent.
All that changed, thanks to two Quick Impact Projects spearheaded by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
These newly constructed police posts ensure that law enforcement personnel have adequate office spaces; prisoners can be held properly in cells without compromising their human rights and dignity; and there are proper hygiene facilities.
“I firmly believe that these police posts will promote rule of law and make community members feel safer,” averred Angelo Francis Ngindo, executive chief of Yambio municipality.
Mr. Ngindo’s views are further ratified by Major General James Monday Enoka, the state Police Commissioner. “UNMISS and the South Sudan Police Service have a very cooperative relationship. These police posts are living proof of the harmonious way in which we work together for the betterment of all communities. I urge our police officers to use these new facilities to restore their zeal and motivation for keeping all citizens safe,” he said.
These police posts also have spaces for women to come and report crimes without any fear. “In Sakure we as women suffer from sexually-motivated crimes frequently,” revealed Gloria Joseph, a women’s representative. “I believe that with this new police post, we will be able to report such crimes and perpetrators will get the justice they deserve,” she added.
For Elia Richard Box, state Minister of Local Government and Law Enforcement these police posts are going to enhance peacebuilding. “Without peace, citizens cannot be free. Therefore, these police post do not only provide cells for suspects but are a way to bring peace to the people. I consider these posts a peacebuilding asset.”
At the handover ceremony, Christopher Murenga, Head of the UNMISS Field Office in Western Equatoria, emphasized the need for rule of law and cooperation among the citizens and law enforcement personnel. “I think the construction of these police posts will definitely improve security in the area while creating a safe space where communities and the police can shoulder the collective responsibility of maintaining law and order,” said Mr. Murenga.
UNMISS continues to implement similar projects in different parts of Western Equatoria state as part of the UN Peacekeeping mission’s support for durable peace and protection of civilians.