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JONGLEI - 24 May 2023

Bor police want legislation to check gang violence

The police leadership in the Jonglei State capital, Bor town, has called on the state legislature to enact laws to combat the rising gang culture and attendant violence in the town.

Gang violence has been on the rise in Bor since 2016 and is perpetrated by groups of youths locally known as Niggers aged between 13 and 27.

Gen. Elia Costa Faustino, the state police commissioner, told Radio Tamazuj that Penal Code does not address some of the novel crimes committed by the gangs. 

“Our Penal Code Act deals with crimes like theft or public disorder in general and crimes committed by these gangs like what we have seen in recent weeks are not covered by the Act,” he said. 

The police chief appealed for the enactment of laws, saying it will help them deliver on their constitutional mandate of maintaining law and order.

Two weeks ago, the police arrested more than 35 game members in a crackdown. The Bench Court in Bor then sentenced them all to a one-year jail term and fined them SSP 100, 000 each for possession of weapons, illicit drug consumption, and immorality, among other offenses.

Meanwhile, Ter Manyang, the chairperson of the Civil Society Coalition on Defense of Civic Space (CSCDCS) who is also the executive director of the Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA), agreed with Gen. Costa and said the police should indeed be empowered.

“The work of the police is to keep law and order so their capacity needs to be strengthened to combat crimes committed by gangs in Bor and any other towns of the country,” he said. 

The civil society activist faulted the country’s economic hardship for the rising gang violence and said that combating the vice will require collaboration.

“Keeping the society safe is the responsibility of everyone, whether you are a policeman or a local chief,” Manyang said. “We all need to collaborate, especially in Bor, the leadership of the youth, women and local chiefs should come together for the police to have an upper hand.”