Provost Marshal4 BCT, 82nd Airborne Division6 February 2018SUBJECT: Policing Problems and Recommended Solutions in Sudan1. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to recommend solutions to the problems affecting police in Sudan to the BDE CDR in order to facilitate police advising operations in the country.2. Background: The conflict in west Sudan’s Darfur region began in 2003 when two rebel groups, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) revolted against the government, accusing it of willful neglect of the region.
In response, the Sudanese Armed Forces and government-supported militias, among them Janjaweed from nomadic Sudanese Arab tribes, launched counterinsurgency operations that included targeting Darfur’s civilian population. The government is widely accused of arming the Janjaweed militias who have used scorched-earth tactics against the rebels’ communities who are perceived to support the rebellion. The region, historically separate and long neglected by the Government, lacks basic infrastructure and social services. The civil police have been engaged in combating criminal activities, but they have been overwhelmed and failed in equal measures to assure security to the people. They have been accused of applying double-standards in the quest for justice by favoring the Arab communities. A lot of criminal activities occur in Darfur and the most occurrence are related to ethnic cleansing such as murder, rape, shootings which are in most cases perpetrated by the Arab militia groups and individual groups.3. Problem: The Brigade needs to help the government of Sudan in setting up an effective local police force since it is critical to successful stability operations.
An effective police force is a key part to security sector reform, justice sector reform, and the successful transition to the host nation’s police force. The Brigade needs further help the Sudanese government police to develop a plan for community focused force capable of dispensing effectively their required duties and cordial relationships with the marginalized communities aiming at winning their hearts and minds. These plans should include assessing, advising, and even training police units to effectively manage the threats emanating from the region.
Since the police is the frontline of counterinsurgency force, critical emphasis should be geared towards advising the Sudanese police in addressing this problem.4. Police and prison structures/ Structuresa. The Ministry of Interior manage police and prisons through respective commissioners.
Both the police and prison structures are in poor physical condition. Some have not been renovated since the civil war broke out in 2004. Most police offices and houses particularly in remote areas are make-shift structures.
The prison buildings are old, and the cells are condemned and cannot hold more than one hundred prisoners at once. Most prisons do not have roofs, so the prisoners use sheets to shade themselves from the sun. There is lack of basic needs in the prisons such as access to clean water, quality food rations and proper hygiene. The only training facility in the area which trains both police officers and prison warders is ill equipped and lack most of the essential training facilities.
b. The poor state of the buildings affects negatively on morale of the police officers and hence are less motivated to attend to their duties. The police stations are so insecure, and the officers cannot easily defend themselves when they are attacked by criminal gangs. The poor state of the police stations also does not motivate many people to join the police force. Effective local police can provide the best human intelligence, and a constant local presence that can build confidence in the community and legitimacy for the host nation government.c. To address the challenge of structures, there is need to set up quick impact projects such as aiding the civil police set up secure police stations and prisons that are easily defendable.
Also, there is need to establish a training institution and equip it with the essential training aids to facilitate the training of police officers. Further, there is need to task the Engineers to drill boreholes for the prisons and police stations. The boreholes can also be used by civilians hence facilitating grassroot social reconciliation between the police and civilians.5. Organized crime/areas a. Most criminal groups have alignments along ethnic lines where they get their support. Shootings, armed robberies, carjacking and kidnapping by these groups continue to be a common occurrence throughout the Darfur region. In addition, government-supported militias and other heavily-armed Darfur rebel groups are known to have carried out criminal attacks against internally displaced persons, vulnerable migrants, and other foreigners.
Cases of kidnapping foreigners for ransom has been reported in the area.b. The criminal groups activities have left many people and internally displaced persons confined to their homes and camps respectively. They cannot move freely even to their farmlands and this is forcing them to be solely dependent of relief aid. The deterioration in security, combined with targeted attacks on aid workers, has severely limited humanitarian access to large areas of Darfur. The motives behind the kidnappings appears to be primarily financial. Further, the police are forced to side with the criminals for fear that they will be attacked since they operate in remote areas far away from where they could get reinforcement when need arises.
c. There is need to support the local police in recruiting more officers, train them and be deployed in understaffed areas to effectively combat crime in those areas. More police posts to be established in crime nots to facilitate civilians attending to their economic activities freely.
There is also needing to train the local police with new skills on combating crime and how to effectively tackle kidnappings. 6. Legal systems/organizations a. The Legal System consist of formal and informal laws that come in various forms depending on ethnic, religious and political factors. Judicial courts are provided for under both statute and customary law while informal community practices also rely upon local chiefs, known as Sultans, to resolve disputes between community members. The judiciary relies greatly on popular justice for solving disputes through conciliation and the application of tradition. Popular courts are staffed by respected community elders and enforce customary law that is not considered to be inconsistent with the law or public policy. Due process in customary courts does not appear to be clearly defined, rendering them vulnerable to arbitrary application of the laws.
b. Independence of the judiciary seems to have been compromised by political class by arbitrary dismissal of qualified judges, attorneys-general and law officers. Existing legislation fails to guarantee the full spectrum of human rights and fundamental freedoms, while military decrees and emergency laws undermine those rights currently protected by statutory law. Police should be accountable to the rule of law rather than to arbitrary directions from some group or from within their own ranks. They should objectively apply the rule of law and be held accountable by the judicial system and ready to defend human rights rather than be the principal abusers of them.
Arrests and detention can occur extra-legally or under emergency powers. Those in military intelligence custody who later find their case before such courts are not permitted representation by a lawyer, though a friend may accompany them. Accordingly, lawyers who attend security cases are not permitted to address the court. The rule of law is not practiced in the region and mostly the privileged class and the Arabs community enjoy judicial immunity since most of the lawyers and judges and from the Arab origin. The due legal process is not ensured in military or civilian courts and this ends up for people being punished due to the double standards in the application of the law. The sentences are usually severe and implemented immediately; death sentences are referred to the Chief Justice and the Head of State.c.
To address the challenge of legal structure, there is need to empower the local police forces on the importance of indiscriminate application of the law. Seminars should be organized and sensitize the tribal leaders on the best practices for the legal process and the applications of human rights in the legal process. 7. Investigations/ People a.
Investigation department is normally incorporated within the police units and every police station has some investigators who report to the officer in charge of the stations. Investigations are normally conducted by the police investigators who are few in the region. There is perception that investigations are normally biased toward the Arab communities based by the fact that most police officers are Arabs. There are also complains that women victims are normally sexually abused before their case could be investigated or at times they are asked for bribes. Further, the investigators lack specialized forensic equipment to process crime scenes.b. The number of reported cases are too high, and this overstretches the investigators hence the quality of the investigations is often low. The integrity of the investigations is jeopardized by the officers requesting for favors before they conduct investigations.
The lack of investigative tools could result in shoddy investigations and could easily lead to biasness. Police should be responsive to the needs of the local community, and make their main priority serving the people by addressing these needs through unbiased investigations. c. There is need to train more investigators to effectively conduct gender based violence cases. There is need to consider training the Sudanese police officers on communal integration between the police and community though seminars. The police should also be trained more on crime scene management as a way of assuring integrity of the investigations. 8. Crime conducive conditions/ Events a.
Harvest season is the most conducive time for tribal aligned crimes occur. The most notorious crimes are rape, theft and destruction of property which in most cases is perpetrated by the Arab militias against the non-Arabs. These normally occur in farmland areas belonging to non-Arabs who sometimes retaliate against such acts. The areas occupied by non-Arabs are normally fertile and during the dry season, they attract a large influx of Arab nomads who forcefully drive their animals there and in the process, they can kill anyone who opposes them.
Events such as marriage ceremonies and market days are also areas where crimes such as shootings and violent robbery occur. During the rain season is when most of these crimes in the remote areas occur.b. These crimes by the Arab militias occurs mostly in the remote areas where the police have no physical presence. They take advantage of poor state of communication and road networks to do their atrocities at free will. The Arabs normally have a faster cross-country mobility using horses and this makes them move faster to they target areas and subsequent extraction before the response of the police.
c. There is need to assist the police in establishing police posts and equip them with relevant basic equipment such as office equipment so that they can provide security services to the remote villages. The Engineers can be further tasked to improve on the road network leading to the remote villages where these crimes are rampant. 9. Law enforcement mechanisms/ organization a. The Public Order Police established by the Islamic government enforces the Sharia Law whose mission includes enforcing proper social behavior as prescribed in the Koran. Those who defy the social orders such as adultery are normally punished in public so serve as a deterrence to others but this normally biased to women only.
The Administration Police normally conducts foot patrols in limited areas due to insufficient vehicles.b. The administration of punishments in public is normally biased to women. It also spares Arabs from such punishments as the enforcers are Arabs. The community is not into the punishments and this has created an atmosphere of tension between the police and the civilians. The lack of vehicles within the administration police often leads to poor response when an incident occurs. A community-oriented police services that includes all the members of the community are essential to success.
c. There is need to train the police on community policing which is essential for the long-term sustainability of a safe and secure environment. There is need also for police advisors to assist police in conducting public seminars aimed at establishing social harmony between them and the members of the public. The advisor observes the police interaction with the local society, and determine whether police behavior conforms to local societal values or clashes with them; he must then identify how best to influence the organizational culture of the local police to encourage greater responsiveness to and support from the local community.