A United Nations spokesman in Afghanistan today announced a number of key measures aimed at building the war-ravaged country's capacity to maintain law and order.
Speaking to reporters in Kabul, Manoel de Almeida e Silva reported that a new police academy is set to open in November in Gardez, with others planned next year in Mazar-i-Sharif, Kunduz, Bamiyan, Jalalabad and Herat. “The courses are aimed at existing policemen who have had little or no previous police training and cover the democratic principles of policing, human rights and basic law as well as policing techniques such as arrests,” he said.
In addition, Afghan police officers have begun a three-year forensics training programme. Over 80 participants will learn how to detect forgeries and conduct DNA and blood analysis.
Meanwhile, the Faryab Province Peace Commission - which includes the area's Chief of Police, representatives of the Jumbesh and Jamiat factions as well as the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) - “has taken an innovative and open approach as it deals with many of the sensitive issues” facing the region, the spokesman said.
The Commission has been inviting the aid community to observe its sessions. “In addition, the developments and agreements generated by these meetings are broadcast by local radio so that the public too is informed about the issues and how they are handled,” Mr. de Almeida e Silva said.
First established in August, the Commission aims to mediate and resolve issues that have the potential to degenerate into fighting. “These tensions are generally caused by local commanders who are vying for more power and to extend their territory, control and influence,” the spokesman observed.