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Sector Reforms Needed For South Sudan Police Service

South Sudan senior security officers, during July 9th independence celebrations in Juba.

The newly appointed South Sudan Minister of Interior, Alison Manani Magaya, said the country’s entire police force lacks professionalism because of a history of poor training programs. Magaya said the police force will also have to undergo several reforms in its set up and operation.

The South Sudan Police Service consists of former members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), with most senior personnel being SPLA retirees. The police force has a reputation for being poorly trained, underequipped, and having most of their officers concentrated at headquarters rather than out in the villages of South Sudan.

Magaya, promised to embark on a set of reforms that will transform the force and instill professional work ethics among its senior and junior officers. The ministry of interior has also pinpointed some administrative and financial sectors that it believes will require immediate attention this year.

The South Sudan Police Service has been condemned by various human rights organizations for abusing detainees, among other issues. A UN report published last year accused the police of abusing new recruits at the Rejaf Police Training Center outside Juba. The center was later closed due to the controversy.

The Minister said his priority will be focused on recruiting more educated south Sudanese to improve the quality of the service of the police in the newly independent nation.

Please click on the link below, or at the top right hand of the page, to hear John Tanza’s interview with South Sudan Minister of Interior, Alison Manani Magaya.

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    John Tanza

    John Tanza works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is the managing editor and host of the  South Sudan In Focus radio program.
    Before joining VOA, John worked in Nairobi, Kenya where he established the first independent radio station (Sudan Radio Service) for the people of Sudan. He has covered several civil wars both in Sudan and South Sudan and has been engaged in the production of civic education materials for creating awareness about post conflict issues facing Sudanese and South Sudanese. John has interviewed South Sudan President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar, Vice President Wani Igga, leader of Sudan’s Umma Party Sadiq Al Mahdi in addition to other senior United Nations and U.S government officials in South Sudan and Washington. His travels have taken him across to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Egypt, Ethiopia, Syria, DRC Congo and parts East Africa where he reported on the South Sudanese diaspora and the challenges facing them.
    A South Sudanese national, John enjoys listening to music from all over the world, reads academic books, watches documentaries and listens to various radio stations on the internet.  You can follow John on Twitter at @Abusukon