This article was last updated on May 25, 2022
Yei River County Commissioner Juma David Augustine has told reporters that there is great need for the state government to provide more forces in the counties to protect the citizens and their property.
This was one of the concerns raised by the state commissioners during the meeting with the Central Equatoria State Governor in Juba last week.
Juma said if the Central Equatoria State Government can not avail more police forces in the county to protect the citizens, he will have no other option than using the military police to protect the citizens and their property.
“If you don’t make police available in the counties, I will continue using the military to protect the citizens,” Juma said.
He added he will not complain if there are other forces on the ground, he will use them to offer maximum security and protection to the people in the county.
However, some of the citizens in Yei raised concerns on the presence of military police being hosted at the town centre.
Juma did re-affirm his position that the presence of the forces being hosted at the centre is a joint operation force which comprised of 10 members each from the police force, fire Brigade, wildlife, prison service and 20 from the military police that formed the 60 member’s joint operation force.
He added the joint operation force was formed with the objective of cutting down on the issues of crimes in terms of armed robbery in the county which the county authority has achieved by 80% since the inception of the force.
The joint force was introduced so as to create the state of peacefulness that people in the county should be able to sleep in their house with minimum fear, as there were rampant killing and shooting of innocent lives in the county.
The commissioner said the joint force was to offer general protection to the business communities.
The traders in Yei town have complained of their shops being broken in and goods worth thousands of South Sudanese pounds lost to unknown elements in the county.
The initiative also aimed at creating attractive investment security to the potentials investors who may feel to invest in the county but withdraws due to the insecure investment atmosphere in the county.
According to a Ugandan national working with one of the Non Governmental Organization in Yei River County, who declined to mention his name for security purposes, he said the move to have joint operation force is recommendable, but the forces needs to be trained on what ethics to follow, since the police, prison, Fire Brigade, wildlife and the military each has different ethics that they follow.
He added the forces should be well balanced and not dominated with only one tribe that would incite more chaos among the other tribes.
Well paid salaries to the joint operation force should be adapted so as not to make them get involved in bad acts like taking things from civilians by force.
Community policing should be encouraged to work hand in hand with the operation force to help identifying the community members caught at night for other reasons such as emergency.
Taban John, a resident of Yei also said the joint operation force should be relocated from the centre of town since their presence creates a sense of insecurity to the civilians.
Yei River County is the second largest and populated county in Central Equatoria hosting different people from the 10 states of South Sudan.
Its socio-economic, political and geographical setup act as spices for political, business and social setups, this might require heavy security presence.
The inception of the joint operation force has restored peace, order and security to the Yei communities, most special during the December 2012 cirsis where houses were being burnt by unknown criminals at Lomuku and Kanjero residential areas.