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Police and Corrections Officers in Malakal had a lot to take in when being trained by UN Police serving on human rights and crime prevention. Photos: Samson Liberty/UNMISS

 

Deficiencies when it comes to the rule of law coupled with a dire economic reality have seen a rise of crime in Upper Nile State. UN Police serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan are trying to improve the situation by giving law enforcement officers the knowledge they need.

“I learnt about community policing and the importance of the relationship and trust between citizens and the police. Adequate community policing will ease our work in terms of information sharing and the investigation and handling of crimes and criminals,” said Major Tuong Kur Deng, a senior police officer who attended a recent training.

The three-day workshop was attended by some thirty uniformed officers, including a handful of women. It covered an extensive range of topics, including basic principles of human rights, the country’s legal framework and community policing methods. It was part of the peacekeeping mission’s mandate and efforts to strengthen South Sudan’s entire justice system by building its capacity.

Prisons and their staff are other vital links in that system, and hence corrections officers also participated in the training.

“I now know more about human rights in general and the rights of those behind bars in particular. We need to respect their dignity and rights, listen to their needs, examine their mental health and help them through their rehabilitation,” commented Nyakei Bol, a female prison officer in Malakal.

Similar workshops to build the capacity of police officers and other personnel serving within the justice system are scheduled to take place across the Upper Nile region. - SAMSON LIBERTY, UNMISS/UNITED NATIONS

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