3 February 2011 - As part of its efforts to strengthen local police, the UNMIS human rights unit organized a two-day training of trainers workshop in Wau for high- ranking officers of the region.
The workshop, which brought together about 40 participants from the four states of Bahr El-Ghazal region (Western Bahr El-Ghazal, Northern Bahr El-Ghazal, Lakes and Warrap states) was held from 2 to 3 February.
Participants discussed a manual prepared by international consultants on human rights, which UNMIS in collaboration with the Southern Sudan Police Commission (SSPC) promoted as a guide for further training of junior staff.
Drawing from the manual, the training workshop focused on issues like the mandate of law enforcement officers, basic principles of human rights and community policing, human rights and criminal investigation, human rights during detention and policing and the rights of children.
UNMIS Human Rights Officer Marcel Zinsou said the workshop was solely designed to upgrade police officers' basic knowledge of human rights, while maintaining law and order in the local community.
"Police sometimes are not violating the human rights of citizens deliberately, but they are violating it due to lack of enough knowledge and understandings on basic human rights," Mr. Zinsou said. "We need to build the skills and capacity of local police to enhance how to handle human rights issues when they are performing their duties."
Colonel Bona Mading Aliet, a police officer from Warrap state attending the session said the workshop was important in upgrading his understanding of human rights issues.
."I got a lot of knowledge from the manual on the meaning of human rights and how to uphold them in practical terms," the colonel said.
Capt. Louise Livino, from the Western Bahr el Ghazal State Police Commission, concurred. "I learned a lot about how to uphold ... the human rights of citizens while maintaining of law and order in my area," he said, adding that he had acquired more knowledge about the rights of a person in detention.
Mr. Zinsou said the training, which was funded by the UN High Commission for Human Rights, would continue in other parts of the region in the near future.