Some 200 Southern Sudan Police Service (SSPS) anti-riot officers, including 50 women, graduated from a three-day referendum security training course in Malakal, Upper Nile State, on 1 July.
Speaking during the ceremony, UN Police Sector Commander, Borys Yaschuk, said the officers would play a central role in securing and maintaining peace during the 2011 Southern Sudan referendum (on whether to remain united with the north or secede).
The participants received training from 28 to 30 June on various topics, including crowd control during riots or peaceful demonstrations prior to, during, and after the referendum.
Instructors included UN Police representatives and Upper Nile State SSPS Commissioner Maj. Gen. James Biel. “This really boosted the morale of the participants,” Mr. Yaschuk said.
Maj. Gen. Biel said he expected participants to put into practice what they had learned. “I know their capacity now and I hope they will do their duty in a good manner as anti-riot police officers.”
The commissioner thanked UNMIS for its support and continued cooperation with the SSPS. “If I receive orders from SSPS headquarters in Juba, I will definitely conduct similar training for SSPS officers in the whole of Upper Nile State,” he said.
An additional 400 SSPS officers are expected to receive the referendum security training.
Similarly, SSPS and UNMIS intend on conducting force protection unit training in Malakal. “We plan to train 20 SSPS officers for 42 days. If everything is as planned, we will start in the second week of July,” said Momodou Jobarteh, head of UN Police Malakal.