It is to be acknowledged that the police of the Ministry of Interior are doing their best to contain the situation of insecurity in our national capital Juba and the honourable members in the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly are also very concerned about the deplorable insecurity in the city and one of the MPs even went further recently in an Assembly session to produce a list of over fifty persons killed by armed gangs mostly at night in the last six months.
We in the media also feel very concerned and as a public mouthpiece we try our best to reinforce the efforts of the government organs in fighting insecurity using our pens and paper on the information we gather from the citizens and to highlight on the dangers facing us all because we in the media too are as defenceless as other category of the population from the gangs. Based on our knowledge of this insecurity and its terrible impact on the population we also try to suggest possible ways besides those already in place by the Ministry of Interior. We try to map out how the community can help the police to fight this lawlessness.
Ending insecurity in the national capital should be the concern of every citizen. Although helpless in face of armed gangsters who are ready to kill the citizens whom they come upon in their houses, the citizens can help the authorities especially the police in several ways. Some of these can be:
1) being very observant about suspicious persons taking residence among them and tipping the police about this.
2) recently a number of houses were set on fire in Kator, Munuki and Jebel residential areas by unknown persons who lived among the people. The plot owners must cease allowing several persons to crowd in a plot of 20 by 20 metres some of whom could turn to be the night gangsters.
3) the police should introduce an effective communication system throughout the city to which threatened civilians can feed in information to the police for help stating the place and exact location of any robbery. Since the gangsters according to information gathered from people who had their terrible experiences confiscate mobile telephones on arrival, owners must hide their cell phones nightly or use those of their neighbours to reach the police as quickly as they can who on their part should be equipped with fast moving vehicles to reach or intercept the gangsters.
Although the previous searches for illegal guns had produced good results it seems there is a recurrent and flow of these weapons because they are still in use of the criminals in their nightly errands. Many people lament that in the past such things as using guns to terrorize ordinary citizens in their houses, to rob their property especially money and other valuables and to kill them was not known to South Sudanese in this part of Africa. But with great changes in social and economic sectors such strange behaviour by some citizens and guest settlers from the neighbouring countries should make us to work out effective means to lessen the danger instead of sitting helplessly to wait for our turns to be harmed.
A few days ago a pastor in Gudele was visited in mid night by six armed men who demanded to know whether he had a gun when he opened his eyes while lying in bed to find four of the men pointing their guns at him and one of them demanded him to be quiet if he wanted to be alive. The pastor calmly said his gun was on the table beside them and it was the holy bible to which one of the gunmen jeered at him and threatened to shoot if the pastor did not tell where he had hidden his lots of money. The pastor looked at his pair of trousers from his bed and saw that it was thrown down after it was searched and he replied the man that he had only eighty pounds which he thought one of them had already picked because his trousers was not where he had fixed it before he went to sleep. One of the gunmen demanded to have the key of the motor cycle of the pastor to which a gunman said he had it already and so one gunman was told to ride it away. "If you don't have money, how did you get the motorcycle?" "It belongs to the church in which I preach the words of God," the pastor replied. The gunmen disappointed that they had come upon a poor person left two of them behind warning the pastor that should he make an alarm he would be shot and the two later also left. Another episode happened in Atlabara east of the Rujalmafi market within this week and after 5.00 a.m. Imagine! Two armed men entered a compound of a family and stood over one man asleep torching him.
When another man became aware and woke up there was an exchange of words between them and the owner of the home, an old man enquired the men in plain clothes whether they were the police but the men never replied him and just retreated to the door of the fence with their guns held at the ready and melted away. So really citizens should be helped by the Ministry of Interior by fixing a system of communication found in all countries to reach the police for help. In some countries the common number is 999. In others it is 111. We in South Sudan can have ours too.