20 June 2012

South Sudan's Kiir Tells Police to Join Fight Against Corruption

Juba — South Sudan President, Salva Kiir on Monday appealed to the Police force to join government's recent move to crack down on corrupt officials, but tasked them to do it in an honest and transparent manner that reflects their obligation to society.

Kirr made these remarks while speaking at a graduation ceremony of over 120 customs officers at the Juba-based Buluk Police headquarters. The ceremony also witnessed 13 officers, recently reinstated through a presidential decree, take oath before the president.

"As members of the Police force, you have a major role to play in maintaining law and order in the country. I urge you to not to abuse your powers, but serve the nation in an honest manner that will maintain your good image among the citizens of this country," Kiir told the cops.

The President, who was occasionally cheered during the event, also reminded members of South Sudan Police Service (SSPS) about his recent decision to make corrupt officials, alleged to have misappropriated public funds, accountable for their actions.

Last month, President Kiir wrote to 75 current and former government officials asking them to account for about $4bn, believed to have been stolen from the country. The money, he said, should be deposited in a Kenya-based bank and that those who comply will be granted amnesty.

At least eight different governments in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, have also been contacted to assist South Sudan government in recovering some of these funds, allegedly deposited in foreign bank accounts.

Meanwhile, the South Sudan leader credited the country's Internal Affairs ministry, under whose docket the Police falls, for what he described as a remarkable transformation of the force and pledged more government support to the law enforcement institution.

The President, on the other hand, lauded the role being played by the United Nations Police especially in training members of South Sudan Police force, further assuring them of continued support and cooperation from government.

Alison Manani Magaya, South Sudan's interior minister said, despite the numerous hiccups facing the institution, the ministry has embarked on the process of transforming the force, in line with its recently-initiated transformation plan.

The plan, according to the minister, encompasses high quality training among the forces, focusing on discipline, professional ethics and honest practices. Also in the making, he hinted, is a Police academy and as well as a college soon to be put in place.

Tito Acuil, the country's Inspector General of Police (IGP), on his part, urged the Police fraternity to show respect for citizens, while at the same time appealing to the latter to always report cases involving Police infringement on their rights to relevant authorities.

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