• Noah Issa Philip

UNMISS donates $50,000 for Mundri prison construction

Noah Issa, Juba (0928180058)

The United Nation mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has donated $50,000 for the construction of Mundri West county prison, in Western Equatoria. The project began in 2017, and will constitute two offices for prison guards, a reception area, and separate cells for male and female adult and juvenile prisoners.

Speaking at an event commemorating the funding launch on Monday, the UNMISS Western Equatoria field office head Mr. Ibrahim Tahiro said that they identified this project after their colleagues visited Mundri prison center to find no proper facilities for inmates.

'We started the process sometime in 2017 when our colleagues from the human rights division, through interaction with prison officers here in Mundri, had identified that there was no prison facility in Mundri'.

Speaking on behalf of the UNMISS, Mr. Tahiro said that they would not be constructing standard cells for the prisoners due to resource constraints.

'What we are going to do is to give you some basic facilities that would make your [prison officers] working conditions a bit bearable and that will make the living conditions of the inmates a bit confortable. Of course, we are doing this bearing in mind Human Rights standards', he added.

Contractors and prison officers at the event yesterday

This announcement comes after prison officers requested the UNMISS construct a standard facility for the prisoners which would include kitchen, offices and a fence to protect the prison and prisoners.

Mr. Tahiro further urged that the work of the prison is not just to punish the wrong doers but also to reform them and help them become useful members of the society.

“We know that prison is not just to punish the offenders of the law, but is meant to reform, ensure that those who came into prison are reformed and are able to reintegrate back into their society as useful members of the community”.

Speaking during the launching event on behalf of the UNMISS Human Rights division, Mrs. Fidelite Ntiroranya said that discussions with the Director of the prison service in Western Equatoria had begun last year. These talks outlined the need for proper facilities.

'They need to have a proper facility which will help them to perform better work in line with the respect of human rights of all inmates', Mrs Ntiroranya said.

The project is in line with UNMISS' aim to support the operation and infrastructure of the rule of law and Human Rights in South Sudan.

On behalf of the implementing partners, Rural Development Action Aid (RDAA), Mr. Wango Emmanuel Marko announced they had already implemented many projects in the counties of Western Equatoria.

'We have implemented projects in all the counties of Western Equatoria, and today is a chance for us to finalise our coverage of the whole state through project implementation and community support'. He also thanked the prison officers for being patient through the years taken to begin construction.

The Mundri prison cells were destroyed in the 2015 conflict, which made holding inmates accountable for their crimes difficult.

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