Community security through cooperation

UN Volunteer Dilip Kumar volunteering with new police recruits to plant trees in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state © UNDP / Dilip Kumar

The state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal in South Sudan presents many challenging problems for the newly-formed police force.  The state borders Darfur in Sudan, as well as the contested region of Abyei.  Tens of thousands of South Sudanese refugees have returned across the border from the north following South Sudan’s independence in July, there are critical shortages of basic services, violent tribal conflict persists in the region, and there is little presence of government or rule of law in people’s lives.


Dilip Kumar arrived in the state capital of Aweil in September 2010 as a Law Enforcement Advisor, and already has made a difference.  Working as a UN Volunteer, he has provided on-the-job training to the state government to more efficiently manage security operations and the police force.  This included helping the Police Commissioner recruit 657 new police officers, design a basic police training curriculum and train police in public security and crowd control.  “If society is secure and if people are secure, then they can use their efforts towards good,” said Dilip, who hopes the greater presence of law and order will lead to economic development for the people.


His work has also included the establishment of criminal procedures and penal codes, a crime statistics reporting system, and accounting mechanisms for the local security sector.  Using his Masters of Business Administration degree and specializations in Finance and Human Resources, Dilip has helped to lay strong foundations for an accountable, well-run police force in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state.  “We are very proud of Dilip’s achievements,” said UNDP’s Acting Head of Office, George Conway. “He is bringing real results to bear in a difficult working environment.  UNDP is working across the country to extend the reach of government to the people, and Dilip is a great example of the impact our UN Volunteers are having.” 


Dilip has drawn from his experience in law enforcement in southern India, working to build peace between Hindu and Muslim communities.  Here in South Sudan, he has formed Police-Community Relationship Committees and organized meetings between the police and government employees, local traders, and payam and bomas chiefs.  His training has also focused on advising police officers on how to exchange security-related information, resolve differences, and enhance community security through cooperation.  Guot Akol Guot, now a Sergeant Major in the South Sudan Police Services (SSPS) in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state was personally mentored by Dilip and as a result has gained experience in using computer systems for policing functions.  “If there is a better word then excellent, we would use it for the support provided by the Law Enforcement Advisor and UNDP in this state.”


In an effort to create a positive relationship between the police and community members, Dilip has facilitated a culture of volunteerism by setting-up blood donation drives, tree planting campaigns and neighbourhood clean-up crews.  Dilip’s achievements are recognised by the Northern Bahr El Ghazal State Police Commissioner who said “We owe our independence to international field staff like Dilip, who worked with us towards a successful and non-violent referendum and interim period for independence.” The experience has also proved to be fulfilling for Dilip, who has committed to extend his UN Volunteer position for a second year.