When I first arrived in South Sudan, we used to get stopped by the traffic police almost on a daily basis and ‘fined’ for some of the most ridiculous of reasons. However, since those days I have seen the police force here in Juba transform into a professional (and very polite) force that conducts itself with the utmost respect for its citizens and the law. Of course, this is only in Juba. Outside of Juba the rule of law and the role of the police remains somewhat ambiguous and you often hear about police making arrests for some of the craziest of things.
Therefore, here is my list of some of the most ‘colourful’ arrests the South Sudan Police Service (SSPS) have made:
22 traders arrested for poor display of goods
Police apprehended 22 traders on Thursday, charged of “poor display of goods” at shops verandas in Maror market and fined them between 100 and 200 Sudanese Pounds (SDG), chair of traders’ union has said.
Butchers arrested over increase in meat prices
Butchers operating in Rumbek, the capital of Lakes state, South Sudan have been apprehended by security officers on Tuesday following their decision to increase the price of meat without consulting the relevant authorities.
Someone once said, in reaction to my support of the privatisation of certain industries here, that there is the danger of certain businesses raising their prices to the point where the community will suffer……this is my counter.
Truck drivers arrested for committing adultery
Two truck drivers of the Khartoum-based Eyat Company have been arrested for committing adultery during midnight with women alleged to be married.
It was past midnight, that the two young looking drivers by the names of Abdullah I. and Hassan M., found their way into the honey pot of the two unidentified girls whose names were not disclosed to PNU, as they told their lovers that they were not married neither one was a virgin nor a house wife, but they are for business like (prostitution).
Local observers say, these two drivers, after starving in the wilderness in northern Sudan for decades, got the golden chance and made their way with these two unidentified lovers to the base where they made themselves comfortable.
Teacher arrested for complaining of pay cuts and regular impregnation of schoolgirls
A primary school teacher was arrested in Bor, on Monday 18 July after told state radio station that he had resigned due to low pay, unnecessary pay cuts and the regular impregnation of school girls by some teachers in the state.
The teacher, Mr. Jok Marial, was arrested and is being held in jail on charges of defamation in relation to the allegations of sexual impropriety by teacher in Jonglei.
There is of course always the serious issue of freedom of press (there are so many of these):
Sudan Tribune Journalist detained in Juba
Mr. Vuni, whose writings appear in the Sudan Tribune, said that he was arrested for exposing the collapse of Nile Commercial Bank and the knocking of the presidential motorcade by a hit-and-run vehicle that belonged to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s headquarters in Juba.
And finally, we always have to include some arbitrary arrests of the demonised Murle community.
Leaders from Murle community arrested in Juba
A number of political and military leaders from the Murle community of Pibor County in Jonglei state have been arrested in the South Sudan’s capital, Juba.
No particular reason was given, but I would not be too surprised if they were convicted for feasting on kidnapped children or causing drought.
While all these cases do have their comical value……. Something, something intelligent and meaningful…probably about less rape-y trainings and a half-decent syllabus.