Wau, 16 February 2019–The Wau Deputy State Governor, along with Minister of Interior Hon. Lt. Gen. Michael Chiengjiek Geay Mut, and Inspector-General of South Sudan National Police Service Gen. Majak Akec Malok Duop, were accompanied in Wau on Saturday by the Ambassador of Japan in South Sudan, His Excellency, Seiji Okada and a high-level UNDP delegation to inaugurate the new Emergency Call Center.
“We highly appreciate the support from the Government of Japan and UNDP for standing with us even in difficult times. The Emergency Call Center is to ensure the security of our people - no matter where they are,” said Minister of Interior Hon. Lt. Gen. Michael Chiengjiek Geay Mut.
The new Emergency Call Center (ECC) in Wau is an extension of the ECC in Juba, which will now function as a national technical hub. Both centers provide a toll free 24-hour mobile service network to contact the police and enhance police response to emergencies. Now aligned to regional standards, anyone in Juba and Wau can call 112 to reach the call center with an emergency.
Ambassador Okada, the Ambassador of Japan, emphasized the importance of security for development and mentioned that a strong police institution was one of the key components to achieve secure communities. In relation to that, he also pointed out the Japanese support to the implementation of the peace agreement, such as funding the National Pre-Transition Committee through IGAD.
On hand for the important occasion was UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director, UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa Onochie and UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director, UNDP Crisis Bureau Ms. Asako Okai, as well as UNDP South Sudan Resident Representative a.i. Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen and Police Commissioner of UNPOL Ms. Unaisi Lutu Vuniwaqa.
“The ECC is about community policing and about people seeing each other as friends. Most importantly, it is about ensuring human rights for all. Today, the people of Wau commit to putting an end to gender-based violence,” said UN Assistant Secretary-General Ms. Eziakonwa Onochie.
The Wau Emergency Call Center is specifically aligned to emergency support to vulnerable people and the joint integrated police, funded by the Government of Japan. UNDP’s Access to Justice and Rule of Law project seeks to address inadequate policing and protection services to citizens due to frail law enforcement and transitory security institutions, all key components of the revitalized peace agreement.
“It is our expectation that the ECC will uphold the human rights principles given to them during the training and should be mindful of the fact that the development of our nation depends, to a large extent, on the environment created by the police service, of law and order, safety and security of life and property, for everyone to pursue their legitimate business in peace,” said the IGP of SSNPS Gen. Majak Akec Malok Duop during the ceremony in Wau.
Since January 2018, the Juba ECC responded to 10,279 calls in all police divisions. 223 were responses to medical emergencies, particularly women in labour; 139 were to calls related to gender-based violence issues, and 138 traffic accidents and 36 fire emergencies attended to.
To strengthen operations of the ECC hubs in Juba and Wau, UNDP and UNPOL, in collaboration with SSNPS, provided ECC orientation training to 105 (20 females, 80 male) emergency responders in Wau in emergency responder skills.
The Embassy of Japan complemented the launch of the ECC with the inauguration of a One Stop Youth Center for Peace and Development in Wau, in partnership with UN-Habitat. The youth center will offer programmes in vocational, English and computer skills, entrepreneurship, health education, sports, culture and civic education.
In addition to the ECC, the UN Assistant Secretaries-General visited the Wau Protection of Civilians (PoC) site, to learn and hear from the RRP, PoC leadership and representatives, on their thoughts and viewpoints of the security situation in Wau.
“Living in a protection of civilians site should not be a permanent way of life. People should feel safe and secure in their homes and in their places of origins. For that, the peace must hold. UNDP, in collaboration with various partners, is strengthening our support for the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement (R-ARCSS). Through our work in recovery, resilience and institution building, we hope to create an environment where people feel safe to return home,” said UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director, UNDP Crisis Bureau Ms. Asako Okai, to the representatives of those living the PoC during their meeting.
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