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S. Sudan, UN inaugurate prison development committee

June 7, 2018 (JUBA) – The Government of South Sudan and the United Nations Mission in the country (UNMISS) on Thursday inaugurated the Prisons Development Committee (PDC), in accordance to section 34 of the 2011 Prisons Act of South Sudan.

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Police officers on parade in Jonglei state capital Bor (ST)

The formation of the PDC is part of ongoing technical cooperation between the UNMISS and South Sudan National Police Service (NPS).

The country’s police service organised the event in the capital, Juba.

Speaking during the event, South Sudan’s deputy interior minister, Riaw Gatlir Gai stressed the significant role PDC will play in strengthening the relationship between the government and its development partners, while calling for greater coordination between stakeholders and advocated that the PDC focus foremost on measures to ensure the rehabilitation of prisoners into the society.

The UN deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Moustapha Soumaré, reaffirmed UNMISS and its rule of law advisory Section’s commitment to providing technical assistance and advice to police service to create a safe, secure and humane prison system.

He described the PDC as a robust coordination mechanism that will bring together all stakeholders to give strategic guidance and support to the prison service.

PDC is described as a multi-sectoral platform bringing together the police, judiciary, government ministries and agencies, UNMISS, UN agencies, civil society and other stakeholders in the prison system, to coordinate its strategic direction going forward. Its functions include maintaining international best practices in prisons management, monitoring human rights standards, and developing prisoner treatment programs with the aim of improving prison institutions.

According to UNMISS, the recent launch of the PDC follows recent achievements of the NPSSS-UNMISS partnership including the setting up of the juvenile reformatory in Juba and finalization of the first phase of the pilot project addressing prolonged and arbitrary detention, facilitated by the UNMISS rule of law advisory section.

(ST)