By William Madouk
Police have arrested around 80 suspected gang members in a recent crackdown in Western Bahr el Ghazal state.
This follows an order from Inspector General of Police, Gen Atem Marol Biar, to target criminals in Wau.
“The IGP protection force in coordination with Western Bahr El Ghazal State Police apprehends more than 80 suspected gangsters in Wau,” partly reads a statement seen by this outlet.
“The suspects are at Wau police headquarters waiting for an investigation and those who will be found innocent would be set free,” it added.
While addressing the force in Wau on Saturday, Gen Atem directed the police personnel to work as a team alongside other organized forces.
“If I am talking about discipline you traffic, CID, and Immigration thought we are sleeping, I am telling you to change your ways,” said Gen Atem.
Late last year, during a crackdown exercise, more than 400 suspected criminals were arrested– which include “niggas”, Toronto Boys, and suspected individuals with dreadlocks in the capital Juba.
According to Police spokesperson Maj. Gen Daniel Justine, the operation was part of the implementation of a policy of the Inspector General of Police, General Marol.
Gen. Justine, however, said the crackdown had sometimes led to the arrest of innocent people.
Police also declared war against suspected practices of witchcraft in Juba, where law enforcers apprehended five people at a residential area in Gumbo Shirikat.
Although the move has been welcomed by the majority of residents in Juba, especially those whose neighborhoods bore the brunt of gang activities, a political activist urged the IGP to reconsider the order to arrest individuals with dreadlocks.
Also, a singer Menimen of the Coozos Clan Music Group condemned the arrest of fellow singers and dozens of youth with dreadlocks during the crackdown on gangs in Juba.
Inspector General of Police, Gen Atem started his interstate tour on Wednesday last week as part of his six-month plan to measure the progress and challenges facing the police in ten states and three administrative areas.
In his 21-day plan, the IGP focused on eliminating the operations of criminal gangs such as ‘Toronto Boys’ and ‘Niggas’.
Also, in the 90-day plan, Gen Atem plans to establish police outposts along all four roads that lead to Juba city.
Meanwhile, in his six-month plan, he would focus on training the police forces, especially those who were transferred from SSPDF and deployed without proper policing training.