UN Peacebuilding Fund provides new police equipment for Sierra Leone

UN Peacebuilding Fund provides new police equipment for Sierra Leone

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Sierra Leone’s police force has taken possession of $1 million worth of new security equipment paid for by the United Nations to help local authorities in their efforts to reduce criminal behaviour and ensure public order in the impoverished West African nation.

At a handing-over ceremony yesterday at the headquarters of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in the capital, Freetown, Sierra Leone Police (SLP) acquired modern equipment that includes riot gear for police units and divisions tasked with managing large crowds and public gatherings. The items purchased range from uniforms, boots and helmets to fire extinguishers, shields, multi-purpose riot guns and batons.

The UN Peacebuilding Fund has paid for the project, one of seven its steering committee has approved in Sierra Leone, which is trying to recover from a brutal and long-running civil war in the 1990s. The Fund has allocated $35 million to various projects in the country.

The new police equipment is designed to complement the continuous training which SLP members are already receiving from UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) Police Advisers.

Victor Angelo, the Secretary-General’s Executive Representative in Sierra Leone, commended the efforts of the SLP during the recent national elections to maintain law and order, adding that “Sierra Leoneans have shown that they abide by the law and respect the authority of the police.”