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How to deal away with checkpoints corruption in South Sudan By: Zechariah Manyok Biar
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Jan 20, 2010 - 8:08:27 AM

How to deal away with checkpoints corruption in South Sudan

By: Zechariah Manyok Biar

Psychologists have discovered that animals, including human beings, are conditioned to behave in a particular way. The excellent time for behavioral conditioning is not specified, but I think it is good for human beings to be conditioned to good behavior before bad behavior becomes a norm.

There are signs of hope in South Sudan now about the possible behavioral changes in every area of public life, because South Sudanese are experiencing a government under their control for the first time since the independence of Sudan in 1956. Effective and moral leaders can condition the citizens to good and moral behavior to a larger extent. Ineffective and immoral leaders, on the other hand, can condition the citizens to bad behaviors.

Leaders in South Sudan since the establishment of the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) in 2005 have been doing everything they can to let South Sudan become part of the twenty-first century global village. The peaceful turn of the year in 2010 has shown how far GoSS has come in conditioning its citizens to socially acceptable behaviors.

Conditioning of animals, including that of people, follows some techniques. For example, in December, 2009, the Minister of Internal Affairs Major General Gier Chuang Aluong divided the city of Juba into seven parts and assigned a major general to each part to control people’s misbehaviors on the first day of the new year, because the experience of the last few years has shown the GoSS that people in Juba misbehave on the first day of the new year to the point of killing themselves in cold blood.

Not only did Minister Gier assigned major generals to seven sections of Juba town, he also gave emergency telephone numbers to public to call the concern unit in the area in case of any misbehavior from any citizen, be it civilian or a member of the organized forces. These techniques have worked. There was calm in Juba as its inhabitants entered 2010. No happiness was turned into mourning as it happened in the last few years. No unauthorized shooting in the air.

Having confirmed that there are techniques that are effective in the conditioning of people, what then can the Ministry of Internal Affairs do to deal away with checkpoints corruption in South Sudan? We must, however, take notice that checkpoints corruption had reduced in 2009, but more still needs to be done to eliminate it for good.

The followings are some techniques that may work in South Sudan in the eradication of checkpoints corruption:

First, those who check the documents of travelers must be police officers who are trained to do that kind of work. Soldiers who live in any checkpoint base do not have anything to do with the checking of passengers’ documents or the collection of taxes. Since South Sudan is a nation within Sudan, we should follow the standard of other nations which assigned defense to the army and law and order to the police.

Second, Minister Gier may extend the emergency telephone numbers to include numbers that travelers, both Sudanese and foreigners, should call if any checkpoint officer steps out of the laid-down government rules. The rules of the checkpoint should be displayed at both sides of the office where documents are checked so that people know what is required by law.

Third, checkpoint officers should wear their name tags when they are on duty so that people know who they are. The aim of the name tags includes the identification of the officers, including those who mistreat travelers. Travelers who are mistreated can call the police emergency number with the accurate report that includes the name of the culprit so that the Ministry of Internal Affairs can track down and prosecute such a culprit. If any unauthorized person harasses the passengers, then the passengers should call the emergency number of police and report where the harassment is taking place.

In order to avoid the misbehavior of those who receive emergency calls, the Ministry of Telecommunication should monitor the emergency calls so that those who never report serious issues should be charged and fined or imprisoned.

Citizens must feel that they are protected, and checkpoint officers must know that they are there to protect the name and the dignity of the country.

Above all, government workers, like the checkpoint police officers, must often get their salaries and other benefits on time. A serious government is the one that blocks any window of excuse from its workers. One of these windows of excuse is that government workers like police officers often say that they are corrupt because they want to take care of their families since the government does not seem to care. That is a genuine excuse and must be avoided if the government wants to be effective in fighting corruption in South Sudan.

*Zechariah Manyok Biar is a graduate student at Abilene Christian University, Texas, USA and regular contributor to He just graduated with a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and he is still pursuing a Master of Science in Social Work, specializing in Administration and Planning. For comments, contact him at email: [email protected]


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