Juba residents complain of harassment by police

Members of the public in Juba have complained to Eye Radio about some officers who they say often mistreat them on the streets of the capital during the day.

Some civilians who carry backpacks say they are harassed by police officers, especially at the Customs roundabout.

At the corner towards the University of Juba, there is police unit that sits outside a blue tent.

Members of this unit stop pedestrians at will and search bags, says a man who chose anonymity for fear of retaliation.

In the process, they say, they are manhandled.

Others say the security officers deprive them of cash, claiming that “‘hakuma’ doesn’t want anyone to move around with money.”

Recently, joint police units were deployed to Customs and Juba town in a crackdown on black market dollar exchange.

When contacted by Eye Radio, Police Spokesperson Brigadier Daniel Justin said the public should report such incidents to the nearest police station.

“Reporting is very important in our policing work. Whenever you see something abnormal, you are to report it to the nearest police,” he stressed.

“If you feel that the police have taken some of your rights, it is your duty and right to report this to a senior person. And then from there you go to the police station, to the state police commissioner, or even to the office of the inspector general.”

According to the transitional constitution, the police are mandated to protect civilians and their properties, and prevent crimes.