United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) hands over new, solar-powered police post along cattle migration corridor

Kayango, a locality in Western Bahr El Ghazal’s Jur River county, lies at the center of four corridors where seasonal cattle migration is most intense.

Despite the 2016 Marial Bai Agreement which regulates disputes resulting from annual movement of cattle, which has greatly contributed to more peaceful migratory patterns, the influx of nomadic herders from neighbouring Warrap state is never void of clashes with settled communities and, a corresponding rise in crime.

As part of ongoing efforts to strengthen security and rule of law along this corridor, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) therefore handed over a newly constructed police post to Western Bahr El Ghazal state authorities in this strategic location.

It was a moment of jubilation for community members who showed up to the event en masse, as key state actors, led by the Deputy Governor for Western Bahr El Ghazal, Zachariah Garang received the structure.

“We need peace among our people because cattle keepers and farmers are equally important for our livelihood,” said Deputy Governor Garang, addressing those gathered. “We appreciate UNMISS for the strategic location of this police station. From here, our law enforcement officers can easily reach neighbouring villages when there are issues,” he added.

Funded through the Mission’s Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) programme, the new, solar-powered police post boasts of four detention cells, including separate sections for women, men and juvenile offenders; ablution facilities as well as four fully equipped offices, one of which is reserved for a prosecutor.

Kayango Police Station is already a symbol of security and proximity to justice for more than 16,000 residents of the area, some of whose vigorous singing and dancing during the hand over ceremony spoke volumes of their relief.  

The most assured of these community members however, seemed to be the traditional chief who, in the absence of justice and rule of law institutions had been the only provider of justice through the customary court.

“With four detention cells in this police station, I want to tell perpetrators of crime that there is no longer any possibility for escape by criminals,” Pater Akuar, chief of Kayango, informed the crowd. “Thank you UNMISS,” he added and committed to a cordial working relationship between the traditional justice system and police officers.

For local police, this is a boost to their daily occupation.

“A police station remains an institution for law enforcement,” averred Major General James Simon, Deputy Police Commissioner for Western Bahr El Ghazal. “No one should take the law into their hands. We appeal to the community to report offenses to the police and our officers to do their job in accordance with the law,” he cautioned.

It was a gratifying moment for all present, especially for the delegation from UNMISS led by Leopold Kuassi, Acting Head of the Field Office in Wau.

“I want to assure Western Bahr El Ghazal state authorities of UNMISS’ continued support in their efforts to restore peace and stability to communities affected by conflict,” he stated.

“Our UN Police will enhance the capacity of their counterparts deployed in Kayongo as they conduct their regular confidence-building patrols in the area,” Kouassi assured.

Kayango police station is one of three police stations that the UN Peacekeeping mission is helping fund in Jur River county.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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