As South Sudan gears up for its first post-independence elections in December 2024, a peaceful and inclusive voter turnout is non-negotiable as these polls will define how communities in this young nation will live together harmoniously.
For its part, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is continuing its support to the country’s much-delayed democratic transition by building capacities and helping usher in an environment conducive to the conduct of a free, fair, and credible electoral process.
In this regard, United Nations Police (UNPOL) hosted a three-day training in Northern Bahr El Ghazal for South Sudanese policing counterparts on security management during elections.
“We are aware that the police play a major role in protecting the general public, campaigning politicians, electoral observers, voters, as well as the polling stations and assets,” said Peter Ayar Guot, a police officer attending the sessions. “Therefore, this workshop is timely as it gives us deeper insights into what our roles and responsibilities will be during a critical time for our country,” he added.
Some 30 participants were educated on technical and tactical methods to help them fulfill their duties to serve and protect civilians, while impartially adhering to the highest professional standards.
“Impartiality is key. People should feel safe and secure while exercising their rights,” averred Captain Lino Makuach Chol, who joined the South Sudan National Police Service some four years ago.
One of the five participating women officers, Corporal Nyanthiok Majok Akot cherished the educative nature of the exercise.
“Today, I have learnt new practices and rules such as the eligible age for voting, citizens’ rights, and policing responsibilities. I will definitely trickle down this knowledge to my colleagues,” said Corporate Ajok enthusiastically.
For his part, Easther Achong, a Police Adviser with the UN Peacekeeping mission, stressed on the importance of public order before, during and after elections.
“I urge all of you to benefit from the expertise we want to share with you, refine your skills and gain additional awareness on how to manage this key moment in South Sudan’s history,” he stated.
Security for all will be vital in ensuring the success of these long-delayed elections, given that conflict continues to surge in South Sudan.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).