Government Should Consider Security a priority to Achieve Sustainable Development

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Each one of us needs the assurance that they will go out of their houses and come back safely. Moreover, people need to know that they are safe and secure in their houses and compounds.

Each one of us needs the assurance that they will go out of their houses and come back safely. Moreover, people need to know that they are safe and secure in their houses and compounds.


Whereas individuals have the responsibility of taking care of their security concerns, a larger part of this role belongs to the government since it is the government that has the machinery to prevent the commission of crime. The government has the personnel and the equipment to detect and terminate any acts of crime that are directed to its citizens before they occur.


Lately, there have been reported cases of people being killed or abducted from their houses and and yet the perpetrators of such acts are not brought to book. This is causing concern to many, both locals and foreigners. Some of those who have written to us have asked for government officials in charge of security to resign and give way to those who can competently deal with the issue of insecurity and rising cases of crime.


The most recent of these unfortunate events was the killing of journalist Isaiah Abraham in cold blood outside his place of residence. Many other journalists have also alleged that their lives have been threatened by unknown people. The above cases are about insecurity for individuals. Yet this is just a part of the big problem that faces the country in terms of security. The country has also witnessed insecurity at a regional level and in a much larger scale.


South Sudan has continued to face inter-ethnic violence within its borders and mounting tensions with its neighbour in the north, which accuses it of supporting armed rebels. Recently, there have been reports of bombings and deaths in the Nuba Mountains, the Blue Nile and in Southern Kordofan.


In its latest report released this month, ‘Enough Project’ paints a gloomy picture of the security situation in Jonglei. It says that amid the host of challenges the South Sudanese people have faced, “intercommunal violence has often been treated by South Sudanese leaders and the international community as a lesser priority for attention.


But in recent years clashes over cattle, access to scarce resources, and retaliatory attacks have become more violent, accounting for thousands of deaths since 2009. Bouts of violence have been particularly severe in Jonglei, South Sudan’s largest state, accounting for well more than half of all people killed in the country in 2012 and nearly 80 percent of its displaced people.”


In other words, the report says that this conflict ought to be given more priority by both the government and other stakeholders in the peace process in the country. And the report does not end there. It gives its recommendations as to what needs to be done to curb this situation that is threatening to get out of hand.


The reports says that “The need for greater economic and infrastructure development, political inclusion, systems of accountability, and the expansion of county, state, and federal authority through the delivery of basic services and security, are among the underlying causes behind the cyclical violence.”


The ‘Enough Project’ report has rightly pointed out that the issue of security in Jonglei, and in many other parts of the country, is not only a responsibility of the government but it is also a responsibility of other players, notably the international community.


All the same, the government needs to play a leading role in coordinating efforts to deliver security to its people. Some of the recommendations of the report do not necessarily need external support. They simply need willingness by those in positions of leadership.


The security situation in Jonglei, in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan and Blue Nile is just an example of the kind of environment that does not support development. It is a deterrent to human and infrastructure development.


Insecurity is one sure way of driving away investors from any country or city. South Sudan, in its current state needs a lot of investment to create job opportunities and boost development in many sectors of the society. Without security, even the dream of the government of taking the city to the people will just be a mirage that will not be achieved in the near future.


The government should take the challenge of insecurity seriously now and do what needs to be done with the little resources that it has, as its plans on how to deal with those issues that may not be possible to deal with now for a later day.