About the Author: Dianna H. English serves as a Program Officer in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
As the government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) has been developing over the last five years, it has emphasized the importance of civilian-led, democratic security provided through rule of law. While the military has often been the primary security institution, the GOSS has been working hard to develop its police and criminal justice sector, working with us to develop long-term programs that will have long-term implications.
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Officer Mike Guinan spent the first few days of the referendum in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state. Roughly the size of Pennsylvania, Bor is the home to many leaders in Juba including senior police generals who returned to Bor for voting. Mike observed the referendum celebrations in Bor from the INL-built police college which neighbors the Jonglei State Police Headquarters and State Prison. The police college opened on November 12, 2010, when two U.S. police officers conducted an instructor development course with SSPS trainers based on the SSPS basic training curriculum developed with INL support. Jonglei Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk and Jonglei Police Commissioner Kothea Kedit Murtat attended the graduation of this training. During the referendum, the Deputy Inspector General of the SSPS, accompanied by the UNMIS Deputy Police Commissioner, visited several Bor polling sites, met with Jonglei officials, and took a tour of the INL sponsored Bor Police College. INL also supports bilateral police advisors in Juba and Rumbek, the capital of Lakes State.
Since 2005, INL has been actively supporting these GOSS-led efforts. Our programs support the Southern Sudan Police Service (SSPS), the southern legal system, and the corrections system. Since 2007, INL has engaged in bilateral programming has focused in two tracks. First, INL is actively supporting the establishment and development of the primary criminal justice training and education institutions. This includes developing the basic training curriculum with the SSPS, significant investments in the John Garang Unified Training Academy for police, the development of the University of Juba Law School, and the Lologo Corrections Service Academy. Second, INL has supported immediate needs of the criminal justice sector to prepare for the referendum and for transformation of the current system. This has included coordinating with UNMIS to provide training and equipment to new police units that could be operational for the referendum. It has also included urgent health and sanitation improvements within the corrections system, training for legal professionals trained in sharia and civil law to adapt to the common law legal codes of southern Sudan, and attention to vulnerable populations within the criminal justice system, especially juveniles.
Also important to the ongoing process is the United Nations Police (UNPOL) component of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). INL supports the U.S. UNPOL Contingent with police and corrections advisors deployed in Juba, Wau, Malakal, and Yei. These advisors, at the direction of UNMIS, further support the GOSS efforts to develop the criminal justice sector in southern Sudan.