JUBA. SOUTH SUDAN — Juba is to get a new community policing program after security officers were accused of involvement in a spate of shootings and robberies, South Sudan's Interior Minister Aleu Ayieny Aleu said this week.
Aleu made the announcement after two men were shot dead in the Hai Tarawa area of the city last week. Aleu said two suspects have been arrested, and both are thought to be police officers.
Under the new program, incidents that allegedly involve police officers will be able to be reported anonymously, Aleu said.
Many crimes that have been alleged to have been carried out by security officers go unreported, because victims fear the police will seek to retaliate against anyone who implicate ones of their number in an incident.
Small business owner Maureen Othieno welcomed the initiative, saying the police constantly ask her for bribes and she no longer trusts them.
“We were driving around the roundabout in Juba University, we were stopped by policemen, they asked us to get out of the car, they searched us, got our phones and our money -- we had four 400 South Sudan pounds and 200 dollars. They picked everything and told us to get back into the car and went home," she said.
Juba has been divided into zones for the program, and public information officers will work with locals to devise a security program for each of the areas, Aleu said.