By David Deng Chapath, Kampala, Uganda
February 16, 2017 (SSB) — There has been disturbing report in recent time of some respected and important generals in the South Sudanese Police Service turning the police into political arena. What they are doing is contrary to the nature and understanding of the police.
The police are not supposed to be politicians but they must be technocrats or those who are well trained and skilled in policing because the role of the police is to keep law and order and investigation of crimes as part of keeping law and order. This means that the one in charge of the police must not be politicians but well trained police officer that deals with issues objectively.
However, the report indicates that one of the generals in the Police of South Sudan is seriously openly campaigning to be appointed so that he replaces the current General Inspector of Police (IGP) of South Sudan, General Makur Marol.
In fact that particular general has reached the extent of spending thousands of pounds to different groups whom he is engineering to lobby for him in order to be appointed by the president. With respect that general, I do not think whether the President can afford to throw the police into the hands of the politician disguised in the uniform.
If the president accepts to appoint the general of that kind then he will know that the police institution will have come to an end as it will be thrown into political turmoil as we saw before the current IGP was appointed.
The current IGP is a well trained officer and he did not get his ranks through rebelling against the government and gave himself ranks as he wished as many people are found in doing in South Sudan. Instead, he was trained by Sudanese government as Sudanese police officer and because of his ability he climbed ranks and files to where he is now.
Therefore, he deserves to head the police in South Sudan until when his tenure will expire and also South Sudan will have identified another competent officer or general that will replace him in running this most important sector in the maintenance of the rule of law.
The enforcement and maintenance of the rule of law is seen in the way the police are empowered by the state to enforce the law, protect property, and limit civil disorder. Their powers include the legitimized use of force. Hence, the role of police forces is to protect citizens, which is different from the role of military organizations which involve in the defense of the state against foreign aggressors.
In that regard, Law enforcement as the role of the police constitutes only part of policing activity of the citizens. Policing has included an array of activities in different situations, but the predominant ones are concerned with the preservation of law and order as already pointed out above.
The law enforcement is one of the most important factors in nation building and this is why the police force is given power to use reasonable force to enforce law and order in the nation. Because of the importance of the police, several departments within the police force are established with the main purpose for enforcing the law.
Hence, alternative names for the police force include constabulary, gendarmerie, police department, police service, crime prevention, protective services, law enforcement agency, civil guard or civic guard reflect the role of the police and also constitute different department as I have referred to above.
In addition in some countries, members of the police force may be referred to as police officers, troopers, sheriffs, constables, rangers, peace officers or civic or civil guards. In South Sudan, the same groupings in the police exist and that is why we have military police, Fire Bridget and other organized forces that are under the Ministry of Interior of South Sudan.
Why the police and other organized forces as stated in the above paragraph are not supposed to be politicians is that they protect the interests of citizens and nation in general. And because of that, the police often interact with individuals with the sole purpose for winning the confidence of citizens which further means that the police must not be politicians who in most cases are dishonest.
The overall requirements if the police are to maintain law and order are that: the politics must be minimized in the police; professional police officers should be appointed in the higher position; and those police generals who play politics in the police should be warned or removed from the police because they can destroy the police by dividing the loyalty of the Police force.
In our case, the President should not allow politics to destroy the police force. I am also appealing to the President of South Sudan not to listen to gossips that arise out of the politics because such gossips are politically motivated as those who gossips in the police or in the army or in any other organized forces only need power in order to have access to resources not that they are more capable than those already in those positions.
For example, in term of capability some of the general in the police of more capable than even that general who is not seriously campaigning. What that general should understand is that the Inspector General of the Police post is not a political post, hence that General should avoid wasting and resources in campaigning for it.
It is the President to determine who to appoint and the decision of the President is guided by the qualifications of the police officer that is to be appointed the IGP.
In summary, I am appealing to the President to retire that particular General unless he desists from that negative politics. He is likely to destroy the police through political corruption as the police force will be divided and the result will be the destruction of the law and order.
NB//: the author is South Sudanese Students staying in Uganda and can be reached through: firstname.lastname@example.org
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