Like in any other (over) crowded place, moments of frustration and irritation are bound to sometimes lead to altercations and crime within the UN protection of civilians site in Malakal as well. A strategically located police post was therefore long overdue, and with the assistance of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), one has now been inaugurated.
“Police presence in the immediate vicinity will increase our freedom and safety of movement. With our support, the officers working here will be able to operate efficiently and build trust among us,” said Yoanis Kimo, Chairperson of the Peace and Security Committee established in the protection site, the temporary home of more than 40,000 internally displaced persons and refugees having fled from violence in neighbouring Sudan.
The new facility, to be manned and womaned by officers of the South Sudan National Police Services, is expected to reduce crime and boost the efforts of local authorities to maintain peace, not least among organized youth gangs. Apart from separate holding cells for men, women and youth, there is also office space to help create a more conducive work environment.
The police post, while an important measure to improve the rule of law within and outside the perimeters of the protection site, will complement rather than replace the regular patrols undertaken by UNMISS police in the area.
While attending the inauguration of the new installation, David Nyang, Acting Governor of Upper Nile State, stressed the increasing need for communities to reconcile, not least in light of the continuing influx of South Sudanese returning from Sudan.
“So far, the government, assisted by humanitarian partners, have transported more than 200,000 returnees from the border to various destinations across the country. Some of them are staying here, which means that resources are needed to manage a growing number of people,” he said, while also thanking the peacekeeping mission for its efforts to maintain the main supply route from Renk to Malakal in decent conditions.
Local authorities can always count on the unwavering assistance of the UN family, according to Christian Mikalla, Acting Head of the UNMISS Field Office in Upper Nile.
“We will continue to support the government and the people of South Sudan to achieve permanent peace. The construction of this police post is another example of a project that will strengthen our already strong partnership, particularly the one between UN and South Sudanese police.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).