Lakes state, News

Rumbek holds small arms control training

By Yang Ater Yang

Three-day training on small arms and light weapons control concluded in the Lakes State capital, Rumbek, over the weekend.

The training workshop was organized by the South Sudan National Police Service (SSPS), supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

At least 75 participants, including members of the South Sudan National Police Service, chiefs, religious leaders, and Youth leaders, attended the training, which ended on Saturday.

Vincent Chibesa, UNMISS police representative said the presence of illegal illicit firearms in the hands of civilians is a danger to society.

“In order for us to experience peace, we need to be engaged or involved in disarmament programmes. I believe what we want for this young child here as they grow is to be in a peaceful environment,” he noted.

The UNMISS representative stressed the need to launch a disarmament programme in the community so that they can reduce illegal firearms in the hands of civilians.

Ajuong Mangui Gaak, a representative of the National Police Service, told No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that the training was part of the surveillance projects on small arms and light weapons.

He said this comprehensive project will see the training of police officers in all the 10 states, including conducting community outreach on small arms and light weapons control.

“We are doing community outreach to the local chiefs, the state authorities, and the traditional leaders. All the youth representatives, among others, should discuss the harm caused by the weapons and also the idea of the voluntary civilian disarmament strategy,” Mangui explained.

The officer said they are conducting the project in collaboration with the Bureau of Community Security and Small Arms Control. It is funded by UNDP.

This initiative kicked off last month, and it is happening across the states of South Sudan, including the three administrative areas.

Earlier this month, similar four-day training on small arms control was held in the northern Bahr El Ghazal capital, Aweil. It also drew together 75 participants, including the police and various stakeholders in the community.

Mangui noted that the trainers are all over the country, saying they had held such training in Torit, Bor, and Kuajok.

This initiative is where the national police authority engages the community and seeks to collect weapons from the hands of Civilians.

They recommended that civilians who have weapons register with the government in their particular State for the purpose of reducing crimes.

“The first phase is to know the statistics of how many civilians are possessing arms across the country. By doing this comprehensively, we will come up with things like how many states each possessed firearms, and know the data,” Mr. Mangui stressed.

He said the concepts of voluntary civilians disarmament strategy will be applied later after the awareness and registration of the light weapons.

Macuei Peter, a member of the security working group in Deng Nhial residential area in Rumbek, Lakes State, said the training conducted was good.

He said they enlightened the civilians about the harmfulness of the riffles that are in the hands of civilians in Lakes State and across the country.

Macuei stated that if there is no gun, the community will be stable.

“This one is a good plan. We, as a community working group, the women’s network, the chiefs, and the police will go out with this information to disseminate it to the citizens of this State,” Macuei said.

A police officer, Susan Enock Machuoc said the reason for their training is all about disarmament and small arms control in Lakes State.

“We want Lakes State to be free from arms. Now people are peaceful since the appointment of General Rin Tueny,” she said. “We don’t have another community conflict again, and there are no more problems.”


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