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South Sudan denies rape and physical abuse of police recruits

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By Ngor Arol Garang

February 25, 2011 (WAU) - A key police officer in the minister of internal affairs of the government of south Sudan denied Friday allegations of rape of female police recruits and physical abuse during a year-long police training period in Juba.

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Police trainees listen to a lecture during a visit of the UN Security Council at a UN-run training camp in the southern Sudanese town of Rejaf October 7, 2010. (Reuters)

Speaking in an interview with Sudan Tribune Friday, General Acuil Tito Madut, the inspector general of the South Sudan Police Service, said the Associated Press story attributed to investigators from the United Nations "lacks ethnics". He said that the allegations were not correct.

AP reported that: ‘U.N. investigators say police recruits were beaten to death, sexually assaulted and forced to stand for hours in the blazing sun as part of a training program funded by international donors, demonstrating the challenges ahead for what will soon be the world’s newest nation.’

"The so called human right report attributed to investigators from the United Nations lacks ethics of investigation. It is all about allegations which are not correct. They are fabrications. No women were raped. There were quarters for different sexes. Men and women were living in separate quarters, right from the time the training commenced until graduation day", said General Tito.

"They were not mixed so that one could say this happened because the recruits were grouped together,” said General Acuil, denying also that this report does not come from the United Nations because UN took part in the training.

“Although it is alleged to have been a report from investigators from the UN, I do not believe this is a report from the UN because the UN itself took part in the training", he said.

Tito, who is also the second top officer in the minister of internal affairs equally denied beating female recruits to death. "The training was not organized to specific gender. It was general police training opened to all sexes including women and there were quarters".

"So why is the report talking about women to have been raped and beaten as if they had their training without other sex group. Why is there no report about men whom they were trained complaining about beating? These are just fabrications to tarnish image of the government of south Sudan", said Acuil.

Sudan Tribune has also spoken to policemen who say they have experienced harsh training styles and procedures.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune from Wau, capital of Western Bahr el Ghazal, Rizik William Vicente, a one of the new recruits graduated at Rejaf police academy in Juba, denied beating but said experienced difficulties with practical demonstrations during the initial days of the training.

"The training was really very good though tough. It equipped us with necessary skills and knowledge in crowd control, investigation procedures, plans and techniques to capture and arrest harmful suspects but we faced difficulties in drills during the first weeks of the training", said Vicente.

The officer, however, said women found it hard and some of them had to run away during the training because drills were difficult for them.

"For some of us, especially men, it was not a big problem but it was not easy for the women some of whom were old. Practical demonstrations were not easy. Most of the women who showed interest in the training were old. A negligible number were young, so it became difficult for them", said Vicente.

He said around 400 women showed up for training classes started in January 2010, but less than the initial figure were graduated with them in December when the training was completed.

"In the beginning there were about 400 women. Women in the camp before the training commenced were many but started to escape when the training started with difficult practical demonstrations. Many of them pretended to be sick all the time even when medical reports indicate they were not sick", said Vicente.

Acuil was reacting to a report attributed to investigators from the United Nations and published by many media outlets claiming that police recruits were beaten to death, sexually assaulted and forced to stand for hours in the blazing sun as part of a training program.

The report attributed to the investigators from the United Nations indicate that some of the 6,000 recruits who took part in a yearlong program to train new officers to promote stability in the war-torn region say they were raped and were beaten with sticks and found that at least two trainees died from injuries.

Funded by the international donors through United Nations, the academy received more than $1 million from the U.N. Development Program with promises of more aid. However, following reports of human right abuses, the international donors have expressed reservations to suspend their support to the Rajaf police academy pending further investigation thus putting plans for the next class of recruits on hold.

Some of the recruits complained that their rights were not respected.

"Our rights as recruits were not respected. We were not getting our allowances on regular basis. We were buying things that were supposed to be catered for by the government like soaps and training dressings. We were buying our own soaps and training clothes", said another policeman who did not want to be named in an interview with Sudan Tribune from Wau on Friday.

Unlike his colleague Vicente who denied the sufferings, he accused trainers to have turned their frustrations on them for not getting their salaries on time.

"One could understand from their talks and faces when instructors could complain of delay in their payments. This contributed to their being harsh on us by beating us with sticks, slapped us unnecessary, and made us to roll on the ground in spite of all conditions including heat of the sun under the pretext that they were part of the practical trainings.

"One would be forced to crawl like a baby and roll during the hot and boiling hours of the sun and sometimes you are put to stand and made to look straight into the sun as punishment. We suffered especially those of who had no relatives connected with instructors", he explained.

Some of the recruits who showed interest in the police training were either those who were living as a refugees in neighboring countries of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Congo, and could not find jobs after returning home. Other recruits were living in internally displaced camps in the north, during the over two decades long civil war, between the north and the south and which came to an end following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). The returnees had the same problem in getting jobs after returned in the south like refugees.

"When I returned in September 2009 from Khartoum after spending 13 years there, I faced a lot of difficulties including getting a manual work. It was really very bad situation because I have wife and children who depend entirely on me but there was no job until a friend I know work for police here in Wau told me there was a police training to be conducted in Juba," the anonymous recruit said.

"He said it was a six months training but went and took a year, so I accepted because there was nothing I could do,” explained the policeman, denying he did not regret attending the training because he had always wanted to be a policeman.

"Although it was not easy training, I am not regretting because I have always want to be a policeman. What pained me a lot was the delay of our allowances and responsibility to buy our clothes and soaps but it is okay I have completed the training successfully", he said.

South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly last month to secede from the north. The independence vote in the referendum was part of a 2005 peace deal that ended a two-decade war that had left two million people dead and four million more displaced.

(ST)

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  • 26 February 2011 06:24, by Dinka Dominated SPLA

    There were nuer militias who committed that trieble crime in a training but they were being fired already shame on Riek machar gang.
    How long will this confused people laern how to behaved like really people?’what is wrong with this useless Riek who tought his gang to miss behave bad.
    death to nyagat.

    repondre message

    • 26 February 2011 07:06, by LongTweng

      SPLA demonic druggie, Aka (SPLA dominate Dinka)
      you are such a shallow drainboard! and for for one minute, will you leave your computer and attend to better things on your sake for your better future rather then alway rushing your foolish comments to the entire world.
      Even if Dr. Riek is gone from this world you always remain as ignorance and foolish beyond your nose.
      I am just being nice!

      repondre message

      • 26 February 2011 07:16, by Dinka Dominated SPLA

        Dear Long tween

        My friend If you were not nyagat. you wouldn’t defend mr nassir gang leader of 1990s befor he surrender himself to might SPLA/M
        look we Reall magnificent are looking for possible way to punished this criminal so called dr riek ngudeng.
        death to him

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        • 26 February 2011 10:03, by naath

          DINKA Dominate:

          Distinguish between Surrender and "Emerge". Riek and Late Garang Just "emerge" in 2002. And it was Called "Nairobi Declaration on January 7, 0r 9, 2002. Go and define "emerge" online for yourself.....And also, Check out the the "Nairobi Declaration" online for yourself....How long are you going to be Semi-Literate? Which means, Half-Educated!! just to elaborate it for you son...

          repondre message

    • 26 February 2011 07:31, by wang

      Stop your bulshits “Dinka Dominated SPLA”
      If 1991 incident still brother you, just take an action like man. Barking online, it wouldn’t solve anything.

      repondre message

    • 26 February 2011 09:13, by Land-of-Cush

      Donkey Dog
      Your hatred to Riek Macher or Nuer will lead you to psychiatric in near future believe me friend.
      All you put in your mine day and night is only Riek Macher and Nuer even your wife and children; you will kills them one day thinking that they are Nuer when you get marry. While Nuer are just relaxing far away from you even if you meet them face to face you can’t do anything that will be your own problem alone. Nuer wouldn’t talk too much about Dinka because we love you and we don’t fear you. But they will say no when you try to mistreat others tribes badly so they will not be good with you.
      About police case you put on Riek Machar I don’t think that Riek would leave his position as vice president and join police in Wau and rap Dinka girls. No !!!!

      repondre message

  • 26 February 2011 06:25, by Majak

    I think that debate has to continue. But the best way is for the South Sudan Police to bring the accused trainers to book. No need for denial.

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  • 26 February 2011 06:27, by taban

    This why we needs to review the presence of UN in our country, if allow them stay after july 9th, they will causes us more LAKHABATA. kirr and cabinet needs making sure UN mission does not stay in country after july 7th OR number cut down to managable portions. no time for LAKHABATA and LIES.

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    • 26 February 2011 19:45, by South Elite Eye (see)

      Dear all,
      It is true that these former Gorrila had not yet changed. They are addicted to this brutality and it is no surprise to torture anyone to death. I had witnessed in my childhood in the jungle of South Sudan an incidence where one is told to stand still and face up to the sun.
      It is no benefit depending this police officers. They must be retrain to behave themselves.

      repondre message

  • 26 February 2011 06:37, by Dengcol malual

    "made us to roll on the ground in spite of all conditions including heat of the sun under the pretext that they were part of the practical trainings."

    yes it is part of the training and is called red Flag day and by the way you are going for training to protect the public and you are not goin to do that job under shade. crimes can happen when it is too cold, too hot, at night and anytime. they want you to be tought mentally and physically. furthermore, rolling in the sun can be part of the psyc-op training. However, i think some of the people who failed or couldn’t handled it were they whiners who tried to find something to complain about. also if you are 37 years old and above, then you can’t handle drilling, 40 push-ups, drips, crunch, dips, 2 miles run and other activities because your body can’t handle it.

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    • 26 February 2011 07:05, by Liberator

      Dencol Malual

      What’s your point?

      repondre message

      • 26 February 2011 07:18, by Liberator

        Hey, Dencol Malual

        Please answered my question, what’s your point? what you tried to say here?

        repondre message

        • 27 February 2011 02:07, by Dengcol malual

          Liberator,

          my point is that rolling in the sun is not a harsh treatment. for example, i can’t claimed that we were mistreated during the training when they let us ran with 50 pound of stuff in our back in 100F and humid in the desert of Colorado and snowy hills of North Dakota.

          so the case is weak because rolling in the sun can’t be claimed as mistreatment. it is part of psyc-opt training

          rape and other physical abuse have to be represented in a language that make sense with evident because the report claimed the death of two women which is not true. also how the rape and physical abuse happened was poorly reported.

          repondre message

          • 27 February 2011 13:31, by Liberator

            Dengcol Malual

            I know exactly what’s you were tried to say, even though, the article talked about raped and tortured...

            I wanted you to reveals yourself, since I know that you’re from United States Air force reserve(may be active now).

            So, you’re defending Gier Chuang about the report provided by the same people who are facilitating the training of South Sudan police forces.

            Please this isn’t U.S Army, Air force or Marines boot PT/ and did you psyc-opt training.

            The police isn’t only PT but tactical training which involves various law enforcement techniques.

            But this isn’t U.S Navy special op elite(Know by only their ACRONMY(SEALS) where a potential candidate goes through a rigorous training i.e swiming in negative degree temperature..or Marine Force Recon, Army Rangers,,or the Delta force of Air force..in each of this they goes through rigorous training according to the needs of each branch’s need.

            So, Please don’t mixed orange with apple..stay in your profession or go back home and help build a professional air force..but with such comment from you, you’re degrading yourself.

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  • 26 February 2011 06:40, by Bol Deng

    Dear Southerners,

    If you want to be a police or military, you will not escape difficulties,i granted you for sure. If you think,then please go your own way or asked those who had been trained.

    This is clear that those who complain about the situation in the police training camp does not know how harsh the military or police should be.

    The complainers should asked those who were previously trained about the situation before they talked trashed about the training.

    I am very sick about these enemy of peace and SPLM/A in particular because they are acting like as if they are looking for money.

    It’s often understood that during the training there is no way that you should live comfortably. There is always lack of food, water, shelter, sleep, and many other things.

    I guess i should be a trainer in the South’s camp so that they should really know that you should never be a police or a military with that weak heart otherwise there would be noway that you would endure the hardship a head of you.
    This complain is apathetic indeed.

    Better go and make business if you think that you will just get free training.

    I know,there are numerous of Nyamnyam/dor out there who never seen or heard the sound of real gun in their dwelling.
    All of these complain are bias and if they are there,then there is no way that you will get free military or police training by just sitting without difficulties.

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  • 26 February 2011 06:52, by john

    Uncle Tito Acuil, you need to be careful in the way answering this. This is a true story that had happened unless someone out of reality can deny this. Uncle don’t destroy your good reputation. This story too revealed corruption on behave of someone who responsible. So hold your breath any things can happen whether united nation was part of the training or not.

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  • 26 February 2011 07:00, by taban

    is good for military to be strong man, undergo difficult training, crawling, jumping, standing up, running. if not ready don’t join police or army please. to be in police and army in sudan is not a walking in the parks. however intentional abuse not be permitted so to be minimized by senior offcers.

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  • 26 February 2011 07:06, by taban

    UN staff was involve to train the police. UN was there all this time and gave most of traning, this means UN must have been involved in the problem, because you can not take UN out and leave only the police when UN personel was also there giving trainings with support. this is big LIES by that FAT ugly AP reporter MAGGIE FICK

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  • 26 February 2011 07:52, by Jeti

    I have done liberation of South Sudan successfully. Now the transformation of the police should be done by those who defected during the struggle. Uncle Acuil, you are a very ambitious, courageous man but the problem is with those uncultured militias in the police. Dr. Riek Machar is responsible of this mistreatment of police recruits. He is a sinful leader.

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  • 26 February 2011 08:24, by Jerie

    Why in the world would ’softies’ sign up to be trained as police personnel? The issues they raised as mistreatments are just part of the training. You can go anywhere on the face of this earth and no policeman/woman will ever say that training is easy. The rape lies are just malicious. Rape is not a good thing. Those who falsely depict themselves to have been raped are a disgrace to real victims of rape. It is not a thing to go talking about because those who really experience it have a part of their personality destroyed.

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    • 26 February 2011 09:06, by Land-of-Cush

      Donkey Dog
      Your hatred to Riek Macher or Nuer will lead you to psychiatric in near future believe me friend.
      All you put in your mine day and night is only Riek Macher and Nuer even your wife and children; you will kills them one day thinking that they are Nuer when you get marry. While Nuer are just relaxing far away from you even if you meet them face to face you can’t do anything that will be your own problem alone. Nuer wouldn’t talk too much about Dinka because we love you and we don’t fear you. But they will say no when you try to mistreat others tribes badly so they will not be good with you.
      About police case you put on Riek Machar I don’t think that Riek would leave his position as vice president and join police in Wau and rap Dinka girls. No !!!!

      repondre message

  • 26 February 2011 08:39, by Namaa

    Any one Accused of violating a single Sudanese should stand trial and the Judge and Evidence can prove him innocent or guilty....

    No one is above the law

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  • 26 February 2011 14:53, by Tambura

    Guys
    My name is Tambura and all of you around here know that. I am the only person sent by above to unite you if you just give few minutes for yourself to listen to me. Those of you who are not grew up yet should take lesson of growing up before it is to late. The problem of abuse of police recruits have nothing to do with your Dinka tribe or Nuer the police recruits whom were abused by corrupted officials were not only from your two tribes Dinka and Nuer.What ever you say about our leaders, our VP Dr. Riek Machar or our president Kiir, they have nothing to do with polices we should direct our opinion to internal minister. We should respect our leaders no matter what. Why we have to be like idiots arabs when they have problem with their wives at home they blame Israelis? For those who keep telling people they fought and bring us country we all fought by one way and another. We has been fighting jellaba for 50 years we couldn’t win all this years Juba, Wau, Malakal, were under jellaba before CPA matter of fact we has been fighting them in borders of other countries until we set on table for peaceful negotiation the result was CPA. Our SPLA can’t win any war as I said they are good at ambush people, raps women and killing innocent people, the proof is Gorge Athor, and LRA where is SPLA all of you proud of when those guys are killing innocent people? Anybody point gun on them they will run. Many of our generals are cowards any one of them want to be president and many of them never been to military collage either. We are in 21 century if we want our country to survive we have to unite and looking forwards, future, the past will never come back. We should treat our women with respect because they are the one bring us this freedom in referendum without their vote nobody would say I fought and bring you country in Golden plate. We are grateful for your service and sacrifices you make for us in bush. Time has come for you to rest and enjoy the freedom and late the new generation to lead the country with new ideas from here to next level. You stack on office because you have SPLA will protect you, look around the young people are changing corrupted government around the world, I will lead upraise against you. The new generation leader
    Tamboura

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  • 26 February 2011 16:36, by Bor Fortunate Son

    Shame on Ministry of internal Affairs!!
    This harsh treatment of our fellow brothers and Sisters can’t be accepted anymore. As we had witness in many cases, this obsolete minded leadership of comrade Kiir must be rescues before it lead all of us and specifically the young generation to dead end.Think about it, what would you do if your sisters or wife was raped??
    Mark my words; under no conditions can these uneducated and dramatized old thieve deliver, the message and vision of Dr. John to the millions of people across Southern Sudan.

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    • 26 February 2011 17:26, by Koang

      Some are trained to investigate and they could n’t see and report serious crimes .....what are you good at? Are you trained to investigate stolen goats,murder or money cases, money should not be the only thing being programmed in your minds to investigates.
      Make LAWS effective and justice to all citizens....Lets kick injustice and corruption out of South Sudan and support our president to builds our nation

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  • 27 February 2011 08:28, by Gat-khir

    Acuil Tito should not lie like that and deny that torturing committed to the recruits, Rejaf is only few Kms from Juba and everyone in Juba knows what happened in rejaf. it was not a training and not only a female who died but also men. you can prove by yourself that these new police guys were not trained in proper way. from the time they were brought to Juba, crimes increased. one can easily conclude that these people were trained to steal, rape, loot, beat,torture, and commit all sorts of crimes. Acuil Tito was a murderer during the war and he doesn’t deserve to hold that position in the first place. A criminal is always criminal.

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