UNPOL officers train South Sudanese counterparts on community violence reduction
Major Aziza Sau Wadil has been serving and protecting the people of her country ever since she joined the South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) 32 years ago.
“I joined the police in 1989 and have dedicated myself to upholding the rule of law ever since,” she reveals. “However, despite my long years of experience, I am committed to continuous learning and I believe that much more needs to be done to ensure good governance as well as law and order across my country so that everybody can look forward to a future of peace,” she adds.
Aziza is one of 44 officers from South Sudan National Police Service and Community Watch Group (CWG) from the internally displaced persons camp in Juba who participated in a four-day training community violence reduction conducted by United Nations Police (UNPOL) officers serving with UNMISS.
The workshop covered aspects such as the role of community leaders and local police in managing conflict; upholding human rights standards when it comes to children; preventing and investigating domestic as well as sexual or gender-based violence; plus, tactical problem solving as well as dealing with crimes related to alcohol and substance abuse.
“These are crosscutting issues that police officers face across South Sudan,” reveals Aziza. “This course is a reminder of who we are as police officers, community leaders and what we stand for, which is, ultimately, working together to ensure a peaceful, crime-free society where our younger generations can live without fear and enjoy the benefits of a truly developed nation.”
Like Aziza, Buom Maet Laam, a community leader for displaced persons residing in the IDP camp who also attended the training, believes that greater synergies between the police and displaced people will ensure that security issues become easier to handle and prevent.
“Whether we are law enforcement, local leaders or the public, we all have a collective responsibility to ensure peace and security in our own country,” avers Buom. “Community policing is a powerful tool and when used well can truly produce spectacular results in reducing criminality as well as risky behaviors. I am, therefore, very happy to participate in this course,” he adds.
For his part, Ahmad Elyassi from the mission’s Civil Affairs Section, one of the course facilitators stressed the need for reconciliation and peaceful coexistence, despite individual differences.
“Whatever you learn here, share it with at least four other people and request each of them to share with four others, in turn, and continue the chain. Strive to create positive change and work together to serve the community.”