February 26, 2012 (BOR) – South Sudan’s newly appointed Inspector General of Police (IGP), Pieng Deng Kuol has told citizens in the country’s troubled Jonglei state not to lose hope in the face of rising insecurity in the region.
Kuol, while meeting a group on Tuesday, said the government is determined to ensure Jonglei state, rocked by violence in recent months becomes more stable.
The government already plans to introduce boma [sub-district] community policing, widely seen as a vital tool for improving civilian security at a grass root levels.
As part of efforts to maintain stability, the Jonglei state government has embarked on recruiting 40 fir strong men, between the ages of 18-30. The new recruits, earmarked from each boma in the eleven counties, will be trained and armed by police, through their chiefs.
“It is not necessary for civilians to have guns, but what is important is the community to organise themselves to be trained as part of community policing,” Kuol said.
Last week, the state’s deputy governor, Hussein Maar revealed that some counties in Jonglei had begun registering young, but strong men with interest in being part of the community policing system.
“Those men who have their guns would be registered and be made part of community police and those without guns will be armed by state police,” Maar told the press in the state capital, Bor.
Maar, who also doubles as Jonglei’s minister for information, said the community police will be paid directly by the state and central government, adding that it will be the duty of the chiefs in their respective villages to offer them support.
In recent months, South Sudan’s most populous state has been a center of conflicts and inter-tribal clashes. Three weeks ago, at least 104 people died and dozens injured at a village in Akobo West County, after armed Murle youth attacked civilians in the area. The attack was also blamed on forces loyal to South Sudan rebel leader , David Yau Yau, currently operating in the region.
Officials maintain the rebel leader is under the direct influence of Khartoum and is only buying time in order to carry out intensive attacks against the government’s positions during the coming wet season.