Wau wildlife officers receive first-ever human rights training from UN Police
Wildlife officers in Wau have developed a better understanding of how to protect and respect human rights after a three-day training workshop conducted by police officers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
About 50 officers participated in the sessions, including 19 female officers. They focused on issues like the basic principles of human rights, criminal investigation and law enforcement, a code of conduct for wildlife services and the mandate of law enforcement officers.
“What I learnt is that when we find prohibited wildlife activity, we should not impose personal punishments on poachers, rather we need to lodge a case by collecting and presenting evidence to a court,” said Lieutenant Mawut Yakmadir, wildlife service coordinator.
“I previously did not know that human rights were as equally important as wildlife concerns,” he added.
Major Theresa Awujan is another wildlife officer who benefited from the training program.
“The training is quite unique for me. This is the first time I have attended such a forum that taught me how to handle human rights issues, mainly on how to investigate criminal cases, prosecution, arrest procedures and treatment while in detention,” she said. “After completing this training, I better understand my role in the environmental and law enforcement communities.”
UNMISS Protection of Civilians coordinator, Niyree Rwang, said the training was very relevant to the wildlife service given their responsibility for investigating the initial offence and then following the process all the way through to detention and prosecution.