The Minister of Interior has confessed that some of the traffic police who have been harassing road users in Juba are criminals.
Some residents of Juba have repeatedly been complaining of harassment, intimidation and extortion of money by both traffic and security officers, whom they say act outside the law.
In addition, President Salva Kiir accused the organized forces of committing crimes in the country in 2017.
The President also stated that the organized forces are selling their uniform and weapons to criminals.
But several analysts have attributed the rise in security personnel-committed crimes to little pay and failure by the government to pay the army on time, with some going for at least 3 months without pay.
On Monday, the minister of interior appeared before the parliament to answer to questions regarding official misconduct in his ministry.
“They are mixed and some criminals in fact made their way-in into this police. We have good people, we have good officers, we have good young people but also we have many criminals,” Michael Chiengjiek told the honorable members of parliament.
He attributed some of the crimes to members of the Criminal Investigation Department, who he said collude with traffic police officers to extort money from the public.
“We have arrested so many of them [CID], now we have 37 officers and they are in jail and we are working on dismissing them. These are the people collecting money from the foreigners, these are the people breaking the law,” Changjiek said.
The minister also accused some officers of causing sabotage to the reform efforts within the security sector.
Last year, President Kiir criticized members of the organized forces for engaging in robberies and killing of civilians in Juba and other parts of the country.
He said the police and other officers have been harassing, and extorting nationals and foreigners in the country.
Kiir directed the Ministry of Interior to withdraw officers from the airport, including traffic police whom he described as unprofessional, and demanded that the recruitment of officers target young and educated personnel.
“The issue of extortion of money, harassment and mistreatment of women [and] foreigners, we are working on it. This is what we are trying to fix,” Changjiek concluded.
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