“I’ve learned a lot from our partners at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan,” stated Sergeant Rezik Joseph, a police officer from the South Sudan National Police Service.
Sergeant Joseph was speaking after a training session organized by UN Police (UNPOL) officers serving with UNMISS for some 44 national counterparts, including 12 women.
The in-depth guidance provided included diverse public order management issues that police officers must regularly deal with. These included raising awareness on basic human rights principles; traffic management and commuter safety; protecting children and civilians; upholding the rights of suspects who have been apprehended; custody management as well as the basics of upholding the rule of law.
“I am now aware that suspects have rights,” continued Sergeant Joseph. “As police officers, it is our duty to ensure that suspects are treated with respect and we musn’t ever use our ranks or uniforms to mete out personal punishments. We must follow the laws of the land and let the justice system take its proper course,” he added.
“I didn’t know that human rights is so essential to policing.”
For Sergeant Maria Okello, part of a local Quick Response Team, such capacity-building endeavors by the UN Peacekeeping mission are valuable.
“This is the first time I have been part of such a forum that has placed human rights at the heart of everything we do,” she said.
“I particularly found sessions related to riot control, arrest procedures and humane treatment of detainees to be very useful in my day-to-day work. I will make sure I trickle down what I have learnt to colleagues who were not part of this training programme,” she averred with a smile.
Capacity building is an UNPOL motto and Superintendent Lazarus Chiumia, Team Leader for Capacity Building from UNMISS in Wau believes that such engagements go a long way in ensuring South Sudan’s law enforcement personnel are at par with internationally accepted policing standards.
But perhaps the heartfelt endorsement for UNMISS’ efforts came from the Brigadier General of Police in Wau, Richard Biayo Apaiyi.
“Till now, we have never had any training in public order management, and I appreciate UNMISS for including so many of our female colleagues,” said the Brigadier General “With the help we are getting from UNPOL colleagues, we will collectively build a strong foundation for law and order in South Sudan.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).