BY LIATILE PUTSOA
Juba, the capital city of South Sudan; home to more than half a million people, is facing rising levels of crime. Working together to protect citizens against such insecurity, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan on Tuesday donated four cars to the local authorities.
With the war in its fifth year, both the economy and the security situation across the country have been left in disarray, and Juba is no exception. Residents have little or no money to spend on food and other essentials, which has driven up crime levels, from incidents of petty theft to armed robberies.
Government departments and security forces, in turn, are struggling to counter crime with limited resources at their disposal.
In response to the worsening situation, the UN Mission has donated four used, but still in good condition, 4-wheel-driven cars to the security services of the greater metropolitan area. They will be used to patrol, especially at night, Juba and surrounding areas to increase a visible presence, help mitigate criminality and respond to emergencies faster.
“Our police have no cars,” said the Governor of Jubek, Augustino Jadalla Wani. “We only have two cars to service the whole of Juba. This gift from UNMISS will go a long way to help with the mobility of our police.”
“We are going to reduce crime in our city,” said the hopeful Governor.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the UN Mission’s Chief of Staff, Paul Egunsola, noted that the protection of civilians in South Sudan is the primary responsibility of the government, and that an improved rule of law situation would achieve safer surroundings for everyone.
“We are happy that this donation will contribute to the needed logistics and capacity of the local police to conduct patrols and to ensure that residents receive the protection they deserve without any discrimination,” Mr. Egunsola said.
Governor Wani assured those in attendance that he is personally committed to ensuring that the vehicles are well-maintained and that they will be used for the purposes intended.