Home | Comment & Analysis    Monday 12 September 2011

Prompt weeding needed in South Sudan Police Service


By Justin Ambago Ramba

September 12, 2011 — One feels that it’s time we address the weakness in the apparatus foreseeing the public security in what has now become the Republic of South Sudan. It was and continues to be the main reason why anarchy, fear, and uncertainties never cease to cast their heavy shadows on every aspect of life as seen through the eyes of both its native residents as well as the foreign visitors, even six and a half years after the official end to the North – South two decades war.

Like anywhere else in the world those dispensing security services tend to be more often inclined to blame any short comings in their services on the general lack of equipment, low pay or poor logistics as such, whereas the easily spotted corruption and individual weakness that are too often sighted by service users remain issues very few insiders would admit to without putting a fight.

Although as commonly said that generalisation is not good, yet people have come up with many good fixes for problems largely based on the reasoning that they are basically to be general phenomenon. With this in mind I want to start by the general statement that, ‘power corrupts’, and understanding it is important to understanding why many good people to start with often end up succumbing to the pressures of well organised powerful corruption networks. Politicians and the police together with the other law enforcement agents are most prone to be drawn into this malicious establishment for they do not only hold power, but are also powerful to make things happen, disappear or simply remain the same.

It is for the above reasons that when we refer to the security apparatus, we actually mean to include everybody from the president, cabinet, parliament, security and the law enforcement officers who finally end up being sacrificed too easily when the big sharks deem it necessary to cover their backs. Nonetheless for the sake of this article the author primarily intends to highlight issues pertaining to the Police Service and thus will discuss how effective weeding can benefit the performance of this important sector in our new born state.

But first before we even think of finding out what is wrong or where does the mistake like lie, we are by the necessity of trying to find out a solution directed as such to set up a clear definition and understand of what we mean by Police Service as such, and preferably no more a Police Force. This is so for the obvious reasons that our primarily goals are to offer security to our people, while putting in mind that we are by the law requested to never ever infringe on their Human Rights, an area too often abused when the use of blunt, brute and unwarranted for force becomes the order of the day as currently is the state of affairs with our Police Service.

The issue of Human Rights is a universal concept and it is here to stay and be respected, protected and maintained. When it comes to Human Rights all states are called upon to perform well whether they are as old as the French Republic, the United Kingdom, the United States of America or as new as the Republic of South Sudan, Macedonia, Montenegro or Croatia. So if a state can claim sovereignty it must equally be ready to show the political will of establishing institutions that uphold the concept of Human Rights, especially so in their Police Services as well as their Judiciary.

In the case of South Sudan, while in its semi –autonomous status following the 2005 CPA, per that settlement it was granted the right to form its own Police Service, which it obviously did by drawing most of its ranks and files from the former guerrilla fighters of the SPLA. However now six and a half years this new Police Service has become a problem in itself, while it failed completely to deliver the much needed security for which is was primarily established.

The current Police Service operating in the Republic of South Sudan has never lived up to the expectations of the citizens nor has it given the donors any value to their millions of dollars that they spent on trying to make a conventional Police Service out of it. If it is anything to go by, the South Sudan Police Service (SSPS) is a national disgrace. And based on records of scandals that have found their ways to the media and those hidden within the inner political circles for the fear of criminalising the entire establishment, like dead fish our police service is rotten right from the head.

With a Police Service that condones the systematic rape of female cadets who train in its newly established Academy of Rejaf – this is a severely traumatised sector , bent to dehumanise the entire country beginning by its law enforcement apparatus. Many horrible examples have filled the media across this period of time. One unforgettable ordeal was a young lady who died in July 2011 due to septicaemia after the police authorities in a central police cell in Juba the capital of South Sudan chose to torture her by staffing foreign materials (metal nails, broken glasses, stones) inside her private parts and birth canal.

Not too long ago in August 2011, barely a month from internationally celebrated new country’s declaration of independence from the Republic of Sudan (North) to become the sovereign state of the Republic of South Sudan, a UN official who was also the organisation’s chief Human rights representative was reportedly beaten by some ruthless SSPS Officers who then bundled him at the back of a car to the police department. This UN member of staff was later to be admitted for medical attention due the injuries he sustained in the hands of none but the SSPS officers. All these coupled with cases of a widespread harassment of the civilian population and foreigners from neighbouring Kenya, Uganda , Eritrea, the DRC and Ethiopia, and a bribery-minded Traffic Police, all these contribute to paint an extremely bad picture of a country born in the Internet and Communication Technology (ICT) era, where bad news travel very far and very fast.

Till here a clear pattern of unethical police behave is too obvious to be shovelled under the carpet and no way should the new Minster in the Ministry of Interior fail to discern the miserable state of affairs that he has inherited from his predecessor. There is enough already to implicate much of the old guards in that ministry and no wonder that the public holds a very low opinion on them. They are in their own rights sources of problems given their non-police backgrounds, where they in fact lie more on the side of lawlessness than otherwise.

The fix to the criminal elements in the SSPS is a straight forward one, for a habitual criminal can never be expected to delivery lawfulness. It is just not him/her for the job. Those who will not end up behind the bars despite back records should be retired for their own good because next time they will definitely face the long arm of the law, not too long when the true change comes to South Sudan.

All police officers must undergo revalidation for fitness to serve in this sensitive institution. A clear police code of conduct must be produced and officers without exception must live up to that standard. The Police Academy curricula and in-service courses must be in-line with the international policing standards. It’s time that the entrance to the Police Academy be set at University Degree holders to train as specialised senior officers, while only those who pass the Republic of South Sudan School Certificate or equivalent should be allowed to train as a general police officers. All illiterate officers should better be retired or seek career changes as manual workers in the vast roads and infrastructural constructions industries.

However the author believes in federalising the Police Service while maintaining a national standard in the various States’ level Police Training Schools. A Federal Police Academy for Highly Specialised Officers will exist in the centre open only to university degree holders with clean criminal record checks.

The bottom line to improving policing in our country is to accept the bitter reality that what we current have is not a Police Service but rather a grave source of insecurity that needs to be addressed in its own right as a priority to setting a properly functional Police Service. More than three quarters of the serving officers at different ranks will have to be done away with and a new system for recruitment and training put in place.

It is only when we have trainable and transformable men and women in the service can we they talk of developing them into officers of calibre. Those will be the ones who will need the sophisticated equipment, gadgets and ICT for policing. Till then any money to be poured into what we have now is in fact a reckless waste of public funds, a malpractice we will do well to part with.

Other issue of urgency in need of immediate restructuring in the SSPS is its non- representative composition. The SSPS was anomalously designed to favour particular ethnicities and it is no any secret that the SSPS Commissioners in the Ten States of RSS all without exception hail from one ethnic group. This obviously intended domination could not be treated separately to how it was used to the detriment of the whole South Sudan over the past six and a half years of the CPA semi-autonomy era. This needs an immediate readdress as a prelude to any reforms.

Many ideas and arguments in this article are obviously not meant for gaining personal favours with people in power or high office. However many sugar coated malicious propaganda opinions have for long crippled us from seeing ourselves for exactly what we are. Today we know that we have a rotten Police Service which requests the urgent attention of the new Minister of Interior together with his deputy; they are to commence the needed reforms in their backyards. The National Legislative Assembly and the Council of States should both take a leading and a promoting role on giving momentum to these reforms before we become completely under the mercy of “criminals led Police Service”.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General –United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can be reached at: justinramba@aol.co.uk or justinramba@doctors.net.uk

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  • 12 September 2011 03:32, by George Bol

    Border issue have not done,so you should no that these polices are the back up or our military/SPLA in you fail to understand it.

    Also, these police in large numbers are the one to cover the vase areas in the South Sudan and if you think that the number should be minimal,then you have forgotten that our large areas and counties will be left empty and the cattle raiding and stealing will be high.

    For me, I am confuse on the ideas this particular author thought of helping our country because he seems always contradicting himself occasionally. I believed he is always good at talking about corruption and against SPLM/A. Thanks

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    • 13 September 2011 10:16, by Good Citizen

      Dr. Ramba,
      you have written a true analysis of the story of SSPS.Ideed the new minister of interior is inheriting a very messy, corrupt,untrained and indiscipline police force.the task is so huge but i trust this son of Equatoria, he will surely do what he can to reform the police service.the same to the ministry of finance and economic planning, an Equatorian has been put there to clean up the mess left by dishonest predecessors.God bless the sons and daughters of greater Equatoria, they will try their best.

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    • 14 September 2011 21:12, by Whispers

      The author shed a light on this issue. I have seen the brutalities of the police force when I was there 3 years ago. I can imagine what it might be like as of now. They almost robbed me, these men in uniforms supposedly they were to protect me from any harmful thugs, instead they were the perpertrators of crimes themselves. I’m not surprise with what I read here. This can be a serious issue if timely action is not taken by the ministry of interior. Sooner or later the citizens will regret this.

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  • 12 September 2011 03:37, by Isaac Khamis

    Well analytical and written.

    The problems of South Sudan police forces involvement in such things is that,the head of south Sudan police forces namely Achuil Madut is a threat to Kiir this is why Kiir put him there because when he was about to be removed by former interior minister and Kiir himself when took all South Sudan Border Taxs revenue and threated both minister and Major General Deng Awuou to shoot them if they asked him, but after Kiir involves, then Madut run to their home town in which is also Kiir home and mobiles some of his home town local politcians against Kiir relatives where he stated that Kiir is not the son of this community,let us them back to Jur-Chol where they come from.

    Kiir was shock when hear the matter when was approaches by his relatives members and warned him not to overlook of twice West. So Kiir is under Racial pressure, so he cann,t do anythings about the corruption in the police forces.

    In his Home, his security officer namely Akok Noon has been find by the department of finance and bank that he has copy Kiir signature where he has issues out millions of dollars to his relatives. Kiir was suprised when was given namely of people that help, and Kiir was quote by saying that he does not even know these people.

    I think the problem of corruption in the police forces will take some times to be solves because did not think the clean persons among those top Generals.

    If you look at banks account records of our politiians you will be very sorry of why did we fight.

    Here is the details of the money in their bank account:
    1- Salva Kiir Mayardit- 38 millions dollars
    2- Riek Machar -36 millios dollars
    3-James Wani 21 millions dollars
    4- Daniel Awet Akot 5 millions dollars
    5-Kuol Manyany 15 millions dollars
    6-Deng Alor 28 millions dollars
    7- Akuein Chol 51 millions
    8-pagan Amum 25 millions
    9- Taban Deng 20 millions
    10 -Mobbotu mamuor 27 millions
    11-Kuol Athain 30 millions
    12-James Hoth 15 millions
    13-Gier Chung 34 millions
    14 Majak Agoot 27 millions
    15-Cement Wani 10 millions
    16 Malong Awan 22 millions

    NB.there are more to comes in next fews days because this was release by the secret IMF last week.

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    • 12 September 2011 04:09, by George Bol

      Mr Isaac,

      You should know from today that exposing bias against someone without clear evidences is a serious crime. Your reputation is worst then you think because these data you provided to us have no ground and indeed you are nothing other then rumors planters. Sure brother,you need to help yourself to get relief from that kind of writing.

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      • 12 September 2011 05:21, by Isaac Khamis

        Bol, You are not aware of what are happen in Juba and If I am wrong asked someone you know.

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    • 12 September 2011 13:35, by Cibaipiath Junub Sudan

      Dear Readers;
      Though my first comment is erased by illed people am here again asking you for the choice among corrupt persons in the list of Isaac Khamis. Whom do you think among the reported personnel lest corrupt? I think Daniel Awet Akot is the lest corrupt with 5 Million USD. This is an amount that is similar with amount daily spendable by Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba in the USA.

      Those who are against my comments are those supporting Gier Chuang and Awut Deng. Why do Sudantribune keep comment of Isaac Khamis who hitted the president personality? If truth can not be told then am recommending that Sudantribune should be shut down.

      I do not believe. A few from Isaac list are corrupt. Just remove Daniel Awet from the list please.

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    • 13 September 2011 12:09, by Cuei Rooi

      what are your sources here man?or you just made your calculations based on personal assumptions.

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    • 13 September 2011 12:14, by Cuei Rooi

      what are your sources here man?or you just made your calculations based on personal assumptions.

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    • 14 September 2011 04:52, by Jack


      Keep supplying us with more of this truth. True democracy mean honesty and being accountable, yet south Sudanese people don’t want to accept these facts because of fear. I don’t know if any of these people went to the bush while they were already rich and has this much money invested in their personal accounts else where. The millions of dollars they’ve in the accounts all came from the stolen money meant for the development of south Sudan and live alone the chieft priest of the thieft live in south Sudan government. They are the politicans who claimed that they are against corruption, yet they are the most corrupted people of the new nation. No wonder Omar el Bashir once say, "Don’t complain that you have no money for development because you stole of all it and you put them in your personal accounts".

      South Sudanese this is the time for you speak up and may the truth and honesty your shield. You need to hold your government accountable for every penny they spend for the development of the new nation or else it will disappear in the thin air without trace. Those catch stealing needs to be persecuted and punish for their wrong doing this is stop others who may want to do the same thing in the future other wish you will ends up losers.

      Isaac, just as I say keep supplying your people with truth and let the truth be known because the world knows that the government of south Sudan is the most corrupted government in the world and yet they try to deny these facts. The top govenment officails are not even ashame of complaining that their people suffers of hunger and yet they steal the little money meant to start with developmenting with south Sudan. Agriculture is dead in south Sudan because billion of dollars meant for sgriculture were all stolen or disappear without and yet those responible for stealing the money were persecuted or jailed for the misappropraiting the money.

      I will write more on this topic later


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    • 14 September 2011 10:24, by Abraham Lueth

      Dear Isaac Khamis,
      Your long statement is not true and the figures are wrong how come to you to know the amount of the Money that people put in their account ,especially Ministers of the Governemnet of the South Sudan , we are allSouth Sudanese and should not lie to the public what is not true .
      This is totally baseless and there is no room for it in South Sudan , I know our president Salva Kiir Mayardit is very Faithfull since he joined the Movement SPLA/SPLM ,He used to advice people to stop doing corruption and other things such as what you have mentioned .


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  • 12 September 2011 11:39, by Abyei Soil

    Mr writter,
    You’ve a good analysis in your writting and one thing convene me is highlighting the crimes that are actually happening around and at the South Sudan Police’s eyes.

    The death of foreign criminal woman due to bad torture by national police in which they used unprofessional tactic of causing perpetrator to confess what they’re lookin’ for is really a very sorrowfull thing.
    As a professional police and a concerned citizen, you shouldn’t use private parts of a woman for torturing her. That is very awful mistake from our national police and at the same time, a difference case. What take you there to that level? It is the common question to this case.

    However, Mr Justin, you’ve determined to make your article till I came across it but your article is full of biases and hatred of the ruling party. The evidence is there when you mention that ’there are actions needed to remove untrained personales and immediately replaced by new and qualified people through new recruitment’ you sound like you have some people somewhere which you believe to be capable for doing something regarding to policies of police handling crimes. Not only that but there it seem your interest is aiming at employing people which might come from your party or loyalist, friends and relatives respectively according to your insinuating dreams as I view it.

    And you’re not looked to be hitting the boiling point targetting the problems facing our new nation.

    Waiting and identify problems are the best solutions to itself. It is like identifying symptoms of a disease first and then carry out a perfect treatment by using drugs of the disease identified.

    Failing to identify the symptoms you will end up treating the symptoms not the disease which is danger to your health.

    The point to note here is, do not talk of dismissal or related actions, by doing so, we will be required to remove all the acting Generals which I thinks will disorganize the whole process.

    The govt should look forward to bring those Generals found red handed or guilty to justice so that it will gonna be a lesson to others.

    And great supervision to the sensitive areas should be put in to consideration by the govt and not the dismissal like you said.

    I BET you wrong. You’ve hidden agenda seperate from the problems experienced by many South Sudanese related to social justice and rightful ownership of property. What I means corruption is on the flate. You’re seemingly adding a salt in an injury.

    The problem here, your article is misleading. I repeat your article is misleading.

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    • 13 September 2011 10:14, by Good Citizen

      Dr. Ramba,
      you have written a true analysis of the story of SSPS.Ideed the new minister of interior is inheriting a very messy, corrupt,untrained and indiscipline police force.the task is so huge but i trust this son of Equatoria, he will surely do what he can to reform the police service.the same to the ministry of finance and economic planning, an Equatorian has been put there to clean up the mess left by dishonest predecessors.God bless the sons and daughters of greater Equatoria, they will try their best.

      repondre message

      • 13 September 2011 10:47, by Cibaipiath Junub Sudan

        What qualify you as Good Citizen in this Country when am still asking everybody whether " Is South Sudan good" as my names read?

        We are all in mess and we should accept that. If there is any person good to correct this mess let him do it withn 100 days. Am waiting to see good things in 100 days. What i know will happen within 100 days is millions of compliants to happen in that time frame. Dr. Justin should tell us which position in the Government he wants. I will be the first person to support him and at the same time the first person to correct him. I assure you no body good in South Sudan.

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