In a continuing effort to assess security in South Sudan, national Minister of Interior Alison Manana Magaya visited the Lakes State capital of Rumbek today.
Speaking to Radio Miraya, the minister said the government was working to professionalize law enforcement agencies so that they could deliver good services to citizens.
He warned members of the uniformed forces that drinking alcohol on duty was forbidden and that those caught doing so would lose their jobs. “Harassing civilians and causing enmity between the police and community must stop.”
“We want to change,” said Mr. Magaya. “This means a lot of things. It means the way we do things, the way we conduct ourselves, the way we appear, the way we behave toward civilians, the way we want project ourselves as a new nation.”
He said his ministry was aware of challenges facing police, including lack of transport and uniforms, but promised that these problems would be addressed.
Minister Magaya added that disarmament in the state would continue and that auxiliary forces would be increased to protect civilians.
Speaking of other security issues in South Sudan, he said that Jonglei State would begin a comprehensive disarmament programme before the rainy season began (in April).
“In Jonglei we are going to start it and this time it is going to be comprehensive,” Minister Magaya said. “This time we will be taking away arms from the civil population and police will be there to protect them.”
The government would send an auxiliary force to Jonglei to participate in disarmament and create a buffer zone to keep communities from fighting each other, the minister said.
In honour of Minister Magaya’s first visit to Lakes State, several bulls were slaughtered – one at the airport to welcome him and others at Rumbek Central prison, the police station and fire department.
As per tradition, the minister jumped over each of the slaughtered bulls.