DR Congo police officers make their debut on UN peacekeeping missions
Twelve officers from the Congolese national police force (PNC) are starting year-long tours of duty with the United Nations peacekeeping missions in Haiti and Côte d’Ivoire, the first time that police officers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will serve under the flag of the world body.
Two of the 12 have already begun work with MINUSTAH, the UN mission in Haiti, while eight men and two women – who participated in a handover ceremony in the DRC yesterday – are expected to head early next month for UNOCI, the UN operation in Côte d’Ivoire.
The Secretary-General’s Special Representative to the DRC, William Lacy Swing, hailed the PNC for the initiative and voiced pride at taking part in yesterday’s “historic event.”
Mr. Swing said “it is a strong signal to the world that Congo is in the process of regaining its proper place of leadership for the African continent, and in international affairs.”
One of the officers departing for UNOCI, Col. Henrietta Kitoko, said it was a great joy to see her country “joining other countries in assisting the countries that have a need, that have problems and conflicts, like it was in my country. I’m very proud to represent my country as a police officer.”