Police require strong leadership, regular training and accountability to respond quickly to a crisis, said the Police Commissioner for UNMISS, to the UN Security Council.
Bruce Munyambo briefed the Council in New York yesterday to highlight the work of their respective units and inform the members of the challenges their officers face.
The UNMISS police units are tasked with protection of civilians, gender sensitive policing, building capacity of national police forces, and safety and security assignments.
Following the July deadly clashes in Juba, an independent investigation into the incident concluded that U.N. military and mission personnel failed to protect civilians and aid workers.
The investigators singled out a Chinese battalion for abandoning its position at a protection-of-civilians camp site, and criticized a Nepalese police unit for failing to stop looting inside the U.N. headquarters building.
“one lesson I have derived from these experiences is the importance of ensuring that all police officers not only have the relevant skill sets, but also the right mindset to respond quickly and appropriately to a crisis situation,” said Mr. Munyambo.
He added that this requires strong leadership, regular scenario-based training with other Mission counterparts, and accountability.
The UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous also pointed out that UN Police provides physical protection and helps establish a protective environment.
However, Mr. Munyambo said the challenges they face on the ground are often daunting
He said UNMISS has experienced many crises, starting with an attack on civilians near the UN base in Malakal town in February, followed by violence in Wau in June and heavy fighting in the capital city Juba in July.
Some 200,000 people are currently being hosted in UN protection of civilian sites or POCs in various locations in South Sudan.
The UNMISS Police Commissioner Bruce Munyambo told the Council about the experience.
Other UN police Commissioners who briefed the UN Security Council include representatives of the UN Missions in Darfur-Sudan, Haiti, and Mali.
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