UNMISS Police train 19 South Sudanese colleagues in Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State on ethics
Nineteen South Sudanese police officers, including four women, in Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State have attended a three-day training on ethics and responsibilities in crime prevention and investigation provided by police officers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
“The officers went through basic and efficient communications skills and the rights of suspects while they are in detention. We also took them through the concept of community-oriented policing for effective crime prevention and crime investigation,” said Joseph Akathuewera, a police adviser representing the peacekeeping mission.
With the closure of schools in Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal as part of COVID-19 preventive measures, there has been an increase of cases of rapes and unwanted pregnancies. To avoid tensions within communities, the officers were trained on how to deal with and protect survivors of rape and other violence.
“If a girl is raped, the first thing to do as a police officer is to take her to the nearest hospital for a medical check-up to check whether the she has become pregnant or caught any diseases,” said 35-year-old female police officer Ayen Akot, adding that an investigation will follow once the wellbeing of the affected woman has been assured.
The handling of suspects, particularly the younger ones, who have been detained is another challenge for South Sudanese police officers, and one that was addressed during the course.
“First, protect the life of the youth. Second, provide food. Third, provide drinking water, and ensure that the person has access to a toilet” said First Corporal Akol Akol, summing up what he had learnt.
He and his colleagues were also given useful advice on crime scene management, photographing, sketching and the recording of statements by suspects, victims and witnesses.
“A suspect must be released or presented before the court of law within twenty-four hours,” explained 45-year-old police investigator Sergeant Major Peter Ngor Angok.
The Governor of Northern Bahr-el- Ghazal, Tong Ngor, has recently asked the national government about the possibility to recruit more police officers to reduce increasing crime rates in the state.