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UNMISS hands over new police premises in Yambio

The mood was jubilant when Masia on the outskirts of Yambio inaugurated a new police station funded by UNMISS. Photos: Denis Louro/UNMISS

WESTERN EQUATORIA – Yambio residents recently joined local officers of the South Sudan National Police Service in rejoicing. The reason for their celebration? The inauguration of a new police post, funded by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

“I think this initiative will contribute to reducing crime and increase the sense of safety of civilians,” said Ippai Mary, who currently lives in Yambio after having been displaced from conflict-plagued Tambura.

The influx of displaced persons from Tambura and elsewhere was a key reason when the UN peacekeeping mission decided to invest in better facilities for law enforcement agents in Yambio.

“It became imperative for UNMISS, as part of its protection mandate, to ensure that there is peaceful co-existence between various communities in the area,” explained Jane Lanyero Knoy, Head of the peacekeeping mission’s Field Office in Western Equatoria.

The new police post, a significant upgrade to its dilapidated predecessor, has three offices and four detention cells for suspects awaiting trials. While financed by UNMISS, the fine building was constructed by the Foundation for Child Education and Development Africa.

Brigadier General Abut William, Acting Police Commissioner in Western Equatoria, was justifiably pleased.

“We no longer have a police post, because this building is really a proper police station, a suitable place for all legal processes to begin. We are here to serve our people and uphold the rule of law, and now our chances of being successful have significantly increased,” he said.