Sudan Referendum Security Arrangements In Place: Governor Hassan

Western Bahr el Ghazal State remains relatively calm ahead of the 2011 referendum vote, the State Governor Rizik Zackaria Hassan has said.

Governor Hassan said that despite a few instances of insecurity, the state residents are looking forward to a peaceful voting process to determine their futures alongside other South Sudanese.

He said these last Wednesday when he met the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) Regional Coordinator for Southern Sudan David Gressly at his office in the state capital Wau.

Gressly had visited the state to meet the State Council of Ministers for a briefing on the security situation and challenges in the state.

The meeting also discussed the border tension between Western Bahr el Ghazal State and Darfuri region of Kafia Gingi and last month’s Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) attack in Balbala area.

It also deliberated on the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) attacks in Yabulo two months ago where two people were killed and two children abducted.

Gressly pledged UNMIS’s support to the state as it prepares for the plebiscite, saying that it will provide technical support as appropriate.

“We shall within the remaining period hold a training session for the police so as to equip them with better skills to provide security during the referendum”, he said.

Meanwhile, senior police officers from the ten states of South Sudan are currently taking part in a six-week Critical Incident Management training course at Lologo Prisons Training Centre in Juba.

“We are providing this training because South Sudan did not have prison officers trained in critical incident management, which is a crucial part of dealing with inmate riots”, said UNMIS training officer Peter Faulhaber.

The training which began at the UNMIS Juba compound on August 9 and moved to Lologo a week later for practical purposes, was organised by the mission in partnership with the Southern Sudan Prisons Services (SSPS).

The course is expected to equip the 22 prison officers attending with skills, including crowd control, in dealing with crises.

UNMIS and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have been training SSPS and the Southern Sudan Police Services staff in community policing, traffic control, data management, crime investigation and other skills.

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