South Sudan president warns police against abuse of power

New police recruits during a parade in Yambio June 27, 2016 (ST)

February 21, 2018 (JUBA)- South Sudanese president has warned security service officials against abuse of power pointing that the sector was a service institution subordinate to a civilian administration.

President Salva Kiir, according to a presidential aide, said everyone was now seeing serving in the security sector as the shortest way to get into power for personal gains.

“If you noticed, everyone wants to be a general because they are seeing it a way to get into power. This concept must be changed. Army as a service institution, like other institutions,” said president Kiir.

He emphasized on discipline and consistency, saying these were the foundation for a professional army.

The president made the remarks on Tuesday during the swearing-in service of the new Inspector General of Police, Majak Akec Malok, whom he described as disciplined and consistent, traits needed to be trustworthy and appointed to the top post.

The South Sudan Police was founded after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 within the government efforts to transform the SPLA fighters into a professional army and institutionalised police.

So, like the army, the new police recruits are the result of the DDR programmes but at the difference of the SPLA the police sector was neglected and there was no sufficient preparation and training for the criminal investigation or administrative police.

Analysts agree that the police for several years worked with the guerrilla mentality in the SPLA controlled areas, a matter that caused distrust between the police and local communities and opened the door for political ambitions and corruption.