February 26, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudanese police authorities on Sunday announced that the government had approved a pay increase, despite the country looking to reign in spending as it adjusts from the loss of oil revenues.
- A picture released by the UN showing recruits for the Southern Sudan Police Service (SSPS) at the John Gurang Unified Memorial Police Training Academy in Rajaf, South Sudan on 7 October 2010
A dispute over transit fees for exporting southern crude led Juba to stop all production, depriving the seven month old nation of 98% of its income. Last week President Salva Kiir created an austerity committee to analyse what areas of government spending could be cut.
On 20 February South Sudan’s cabinet announced a string of cost cutting measures. South Sudan’s finance ministry has said that salaries among the civil service or the security services would not be effected by the cuts but did mention that they were considering increasing police pay.
South Sudan’s police have welcomed their pay rise, saying that it was only approved after weeks screening and by recommendation of the ministry of interior. Alison Magaya, the interior minister, sits on the newly established austerity committee.
General Peter Mading, spokesman of South Sudan Police said on Sunday that the pay increase had given his "comrades in the police force" a reason to smile.
“It has always been the wish of our president Salva Kiir Mayardit, and his cabinet members to do something good to this country”, Mading told journalists on Sunday.
The new salary structure, Mading said, was "good news to not only for us in the ministry of interior but also to family members of individual police".
The senior police officer described the decision of the government as “bold and encouraging” steps towards nation building.
Under the new scheme the salary of a policeman will increase to close to 700 South Sudanese Pounds ($260) a month, up from SSP400 ($150) a month.
Peter Gatluak, a police officer at the ministry of interior said he welcomed approval of the new salary structure by the president.
“This is encouraging a lot. I am thankful to our minister of interior, General Alison Magaya and his deputy, General Salva Mathok Gengdit for showing hard work since they took over the office. At least the result of their work has materialised”, he said.
Gatluak said the increment in the salary structure will boost morale of the serving police force. Several police officers told Sudan Tribune that they welcomed the approval of the new salary structure but expressed disappointment that it took so long.