Balázs Horváth, UNDP Country Director, Livestock Patrol Unit Handover, Buluk Police Hospital, Juba, South Sudan

04 Sep 2012

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-   The Honourable Inspector General of the South Sudan National Police Service

-   The Honourable Head of the Community Security & Arms Control Bureau,

-   Honourable Members of the Government,

-   Members of the South Sudan National Police Service and Livestock Patrol Unit,

-   Representatives of the international development community,

-   Members of the community,

-   All protocols observed.

It is my pleasure and honour to be addressing you today as the new Country Director for the United Nations Development Programme in South Sudan. 

With the historic independence last year, the Government has made significant strides in creating a more peaceful society.  However, a major challenge facing the new nation is to sustain this peace and promote community security so that people no longer have to live in fear. 

UNDP is proud to have worked alongside the new Government of South Sudan in building the capacity of the South Sudan National Police Service, in order to strengthen the rule of law and help lay the foundations for peaceful and secure communities. Also, by providing local communities with the tools and resources they need to prevent conflict, citizens can begin to invest in their communities, cultivate their local economies, and realize the benefits of peace.

In 2009, the national, state and county governments together with UNDP undertook a series of consultations in Jonglei State.  We visited all 11 counties to understand the needs of the people.  And it was the people who collectively decided that special resources were needed to address cattle raiding in their communities. 

As a result, our Community Security and Small Arms Control project, or CSAC, with support from the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Division, responded by bolstering the Government’s efforts to create the Livestock Patrol Unit, or L.P.U.

The mission of the LPU is to prevent and respond to cattle raiding incidents through community policing, and to foster engagement and dialogue within communities to develop trusting relationships with law enforcement.  Today, we are handing over two pick-up trucks and $137,000 worth of equipment to support the mission of the new LPU. These resources and continued technical support will enable local authorities to respond more rapidly to conflict and ensure they have better presence throughout the villages. And this capacity will demonstrate to the people of South Sudan that their government is committed to improving their security. 

UNDP is proud to see the renewed commitment from the South Sudan National Police Service in supporting the LPU.  In nine months, with support from UNDP and UN Police, the Police Service has developed a mission statement, a concept of operations, standard operating procedures and a training plan that will guide the Livestock Patrol Unit in moving forwards.  Working together, the Police Service, UNDP and UNPOL will identify additional requirements to fully constitute the LPU; and while this will take careful planning and time, it is part of our a medium-to-long-term strategy to support the development of the rule of law and security institutions in South Sudan.  Ultimately, however, success or failure will rest on the government’s ability to dedicate and sustain resources to enable the men and women of the LPU to execute their mandate.  If successful, the current LPU will serve as a model for the rest of the country.  

Strengthening the rule of law and reinforcing community security are areas on which UNDP will continue to focus, as we support the Government in its implementation of the South Sudan Development Plan, 2011-2013.  We at UNDP are also proud of this partnership we have with the National, State and local Governments, particularly in building institutional capacity to deliver accountable and effective rule of law to the population. 

In closing, I would like to congratulate the Jonglei State Government, the CSAC Bureau, and the South Sudan National Police Service, for their leadership on this project.  I would also like to thank United States Department of State for their support in this project, and making it a success. Lastly, I wish the members of the LPU the very best their efforts to reduce cattle rustling, and thereby foster peace and security in Jonglei. 

Thank you very much.