National, News

Police spirits up for 2024 polls

By William Madouk

As the 2024 general election approaches, the South Sudan National Police Service has developed a strategic plan for security actions before, during and after polls.

The aim of the Election Security Action Plan 2024 is to ensure the safety and security of all participants during the electoral process, such as voters, candidates, election officials and observers.

Yesterday, the top leadership held an extraordinary leadership meeting chaired by the Deputy Inspector General of Police. Lt Gen. Thomas Jal Thomas, among other top police brass in the country, to review the plan.

Major-General Sadik Isamil, the Director of Legal Affairs, made a legal presentation on the election security action plan for the 2024 polls.

Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper via phone, Brig-Gen James Dak, the deputy police spokesperson said the meeting was to review the security roadmap for protecting the electioneering process.

“The security action plan has four pillars; the first pillar is the introduction of the election, the second pillar is how the election will be operated,” Dak explained.

“And the third pillar is about the challenges that are going to be encountered and the last pillar is the recommendation of risks that may take place,” he added.

The security strategy plan focuses on safeguarding and ensuring the safe transportation of ballots across the country, Dak said.

“It also gives a space to those who are going to stand in the election, so that they are not harassed and then they can have freedom of expression,” Dak stressed.

General Dak revealed the strategic security plan includes handling discontented contestants’ cases and providing the police with the necessary tools for peaceful elections.

“And then the tools which the operation units are going to control the riots. Do we have live bullets, or do we have teargas? and do we have water cannons that will disperse those who might go against the result of the election?” he highlighted.

The police also said a good number of officers would be properly trained on how to manage the electoral processes.

“This is the preparation we are doing now, and for the short period of time we intend that the forces that are already identified, who are professionally skilled to be trained, go and train others in states,” Dak noted,

“Now, it is good that the election bill has been passed by the parliament and assented by the president. So, now it is just to get the resources and when the funds are available, we will immediately start training today or tomorrow,” he continued.

Recently, President Kiir said his government would not accept another extension, adding that he is tired of accommodating five vice presidents and colossal government consuming the entire budget.

He told off the doubting Thomases of the election that the plan to have the exercise was not an empty talk.

But opposition parties, especially SPLM-IO under Dr. Riek Machar voiced reservations on the conduct of elections, saying that the security situation, repatriation of refugees and returnees including census must be addressed first.

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