South Sudan: Tournament Held to Strengthen Community Policing

The sports tournament organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) aimed at strengthening and promoting community policing has concluded in Juba.

Malin Nilsson, the head of capacity building for the UNMISS in Central Equatoria State field office, said the police athletics league which ran from June 29 to July 6, 2024 aimed at building working cooperation between the National Police Services, the United Nations Police and the communities they serve.

 “We want opportunity to really bring the community and the national police and also UNPOL together, I think we have achieved a lot, we have known each other much better than we knew before,” Nilsson told journalists after the end of the final matches in Yei checkpoint police playground in Juba on Saturday.

“We can see how we bring people together, with team building we are going to achieve a lot of things, we are here to help the community to address challenges, I believe if we are to cooperate we need to know each other better,” she added. 

Togba Jeremiah Massaquoi, UNMISS Central Equatoria State field office Police Commander, said the police league is organized to close the cooperation gaps between the police and the community.

 “The National Police Services has been doing very well to reach out to the communities, but still there are some gaps, we thought this activity will bring together the community and the police and UNPOL team to build trust and confidence for safer communities,” said Massaquoi.

 Massaquoi said that the UNPOL team under the UNMISS umbrella have been working very hard in partnering with the community and the National Police Services in building peace within the community.

“Police have a lot of power given by national laws, sometime due to misunderstanding of the law people think the police is not cooperating with them,” he said.

Lt. Gen Benjamin John Batista, the Assistant Inspector General of Police for Social Welfare said that sports is a unifying factor, adding that bringing the community and the police together will in turn strengthen the relationship.

“We hope to continue with such sports activities and it will strengthen the relation between UNPOL and internally displaced persons (IDPs), the National Police Services and the communities,” said Batista.

Brig.Gen James Dak Karlo, the Deputy Spokesperson for the National Police Services said sports brings people together leading to better understanding.

“It is great for UNPOL to come up with sports activities because sports helps to build bridges, and bring people together leading to understanding and togetherness, we are now creating harmony and building confidence and trust for safety of the community,” said Karlo.

Wek Atak