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UNPOL officers from UNMISS build capacities among local counterparts in Kuajok

Some 35 South Sudanese police officers drawn from every county in Warrap are now fully certified trainers in internationally accepted policing standards, thanks to impactful capacity-building by UNMISS. Photo by Zejin Yin/UNMISS

WARRAP - "As police, we are supposed to serve and protect communities. To do that we must be at par with international policing standards,” says Angelo Akot, an investigator for the South Sudan National Police Service. Mr. Akot was speaking at the conclusion of a four-day intensive training-of-trainers facilitated by United Nations Police (UNPOL) officers in Kuajok. “We are finishing this course by becoming fully qualified trainers who can trickle down what we have learnt to our peers so we can build greater trust among our citizens,” he added, with a smile.Upholding human rights, knowledge of international humanitarian laws and gender-sensitive law enforcement were among some of the important issues that workshop facilitators focused on. The impact: More than 35 South Sudanese police officers drawn from the six counties of Warrap state are now certified trainers! "Each of the five modules we have mastered here are interesting and useful. This training has boosted our skills and competencies, enhancing our professionalism,” remarked Mabior Deng, a Tonj East-based police officer. For Bona Bak Akot, a crime investigator from Tonj North, the main takeaway is the ability to successfully conduct criminal investigations efficiently. "I found that the sessions enabled us to learn how to design clear objectives for investigating crimes and leverage strategic, simple communications to gather useful intelligence from community members to solve problems,” he revealed. Some major challenges being faced by police officers across South Sudan, according to Mr. Akot, are mobility and proper tools to effectively enforce the law. “This doesn’t mean we should be passive. We need to find workarounds by maximizing the resources available to us. Thanks to our international friends from UNPOL, this training has given us a pathway towards achieving this aim,” he stated. Adewuyi Adewumi, Acting Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan’s (UNMISS) Field Office in Kuajok, congratulated participants for their enthusiastic support to this initiative by UNPOL, while underscoring the need for more qualified women officers. "Increasing the number of women police officers in South Sudan is essential for a law enforcement framework that takes into account the needs of the entire population. Women make up 50 per cent of society; with more women officers, their needs will be accurately and immediately handled,” he said. Going forward, UNPOL officers will continue tracking progress made by participants in implementing their learning on the ground.