Jonglei state police commissioner Major General Chol Atem Jongeth after the interview with reporters regarding firing of the 53 police officers at his office on Friday in Bor (Photo by Manas James Okony)
By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon
At least 53 police officers in Jonglei state have been fired by the police commander for allegedly failing to perform their duty as required.
The ex-police officers were part of the team assigned to Abii during inter communal clashes in Pan-wel areas of Abii payam in Bor South County.
Speaking to journalists last Friday in Bor, Major Gen. Chol Atem Jongeth said that the dismissal of the police officers was appropriate, adding that this was done after collecting a number of reports regarding the conduct of the officers in the troubled area of Bor South County.
”This dismissal came as a long stand of disobedience shown by these officers in areas of conflict in Bor South. Instead of bridging the gap between the warring clans they decided to behave contrary according to the law,” Major Gen. Jongeth said.
”We had thought that they were going to do their duties as required but as they proved not able to do the mission well. We have sacked them to act as a lesson to others who want to be contrary to the law,” he added.
He claimed the officers had repeatedly failed to respect administrative measures that were necessary to correct them.
Major Gen. Jongeth explained that there were some administrative measures taken to the police officers prior to their dismissal to allow them to reform but they continued to portray the same behaviour. “We couldn’t tolerate these arrogant behaviours amongst police officers.”
The police commissioner said they were ready to recruit new personnel to replace the fired ones.
”The recruitment is already in process. Those who are willing have been taken already and now we are looking for a way to accommodate them and find facilities to train them,” he said.
However, Jongeth warned the police personnel to refrain from indiscipline act and do their work respectively, saying they would dismiss police officers to remain with few disciplined officers.
One of the dismissed police officers who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that the decision of the police commissioner was ”contrary, premature and not correct.”
He pointed out that the commissioner dismissed them when they were demanding their accumulated salaries to be paid.
”Our dismissal came when we were for a mission. Most of our officers whom he said to have been indiscipline were for a mission. The genesis of this problem is clear. The commissioner did not send our salaries when we were in the field,” he said.
”He has been dodging us in the process of complaining for our money. He even ordered the cashier not to release our money. So after seeing us active in the process of following up our money, he immediately terminated us. So this is the secret behind. We cannot deceive people completely,” the ex-police officer said.
According to the source, they disagreed with the commissioner on questions of their long awaited dues.
He revealed that their committee was already on board to consult with the parliament in order to investigate about their dismissal.
Another fired sergeant who preferred to be identified as John denied the claims that “they behaved arrogantly” as stated by the police commissioner.
”We have not done anything bad. We were complaining for our salaries because our families are suffering. This is a complete violation of our rights. The police commissioner should provide another reason behind this not what he stated,” John said.