UNPOL officers train South Sudanese counterparts to support planned extension of community policing in Eastern Equatoria

UNMISS UNPOL capacity building SSNPS south sudan eastern equatoria torit police rule of law peacekeeping united nations peacekeepers

Building confidence and creating safe communities - that's the ultimate goal of community policing initiatives. UNPOL officers serving with UNMISS in Torit, South Sudan, recently trained 25 local policing counterparts as part of their ongoing support to local law enforcement efforts in expanding community policing across Eastern Equatoria. Photo by Samira Y. Salifu/UNMISS

15 Sep 2022

UNPOL officers train South Sudanese counterparts to support planned extension of community policing in Eastern Equatoria

Samira Y. Salifu

EASTERN EQUATORIA - Building capacities of national policing counterparts is what United Nations Police (UNPOL) officers serving with UNMISS are gifted at.

Recently in Torit, the UN Peacekeeping mission’s Police component joined hands with the South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) to train some 25 officers from Magwi on community policing.

“Community policing can build trust and confidence among the communities we serve, because it allows cooperation to be sufficiently harnessed to prevent and combat crime. This, of course, results in safer environments and improves quality of life for both residents and the police,” assured Kaenchan Chooket, a Police Adviser serving with UNMISS.

The two-day workshop was aimed at facilitating and encouraging citizens’ participation in detecting, preventing, and fighting crime, to build safer communities that contribute to the legitimacy of government structures.

Participants at the training could not agree more.

“I think this kind of partnership with our communities will help in collecting summary information to try cases in a timely manner to solve and curb crimes in Magwi,” opined Denis Komakey Joel, a Warrant Officer working with the SSNPS in the county.

“Collaborating with the people we serve by sensitizing them on how they can support our work, will help us gain the trust and respect of the general public, and in turn, promote security in localities,” added Aloxandey Miller, a traffic officer.

Currently, there are 28 Police Community Relations Committees (PCRC) in Eastern Equatoria which coordinate community policing initiatives.

All are situated in the state capital, Torit.

Plans are, however, swiftly taking shape to extend these Committees across the state with the support of the United Nations.

“Before the disruptions caused by insecurity across the country and the state, community policing was thriving in Magwi, and other areas including Imurok Centre, Himodonge, and Labalwa,” informed Adolfo Oswaha, a Warrant Officer working with the public relations office of the State Police Headquarters in Torit.

 “Today, we are steadfastly working with partners to strengthen its re-establishment, particularly in Magwi; and subsequently in other areas.”