Member States and UN to enhance police peacekeeping training for Darfur

Member States and UN to enhance police peacekeeping training for Darfur

Andrew Hughes
Top United Nations and Member States’ police and human security officials today pledged to enhance training for UN Police (UNPOL) officers preparing to serve as peacekeepers in Sudan’s Darfur region in what will be the largest single UN Police contingent ever with more than 6,400 officers.

This outcome came at the end of two days of meetings by the International Policing Advisory Council (IPAC) in the Australian capital Canberra. It followed a call yesterday by new UN Police Adviser Andrew Hughes for the global policing community to cooperate ever more closely with the world body.

The new hybrid UN-African Union (AU) peacekeeping force in Darfur, to be known as UNAMID, will be made up of over 30,000 personnel, including more than 19,500 military. Among its final outcomes, IPAC also recognized military and police relations as critical to the success of international policing in peacekeeping operations.

As well as facing the challenges of policing in Darfur, IPAC further recommended that the UN and Member States need to work together to enhance pre-deployment training for police officers serving in other global peacekeeping missions. The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ (DPKO) Police Division also pledged to develop more manuals and handbooks for police on the ground.

In addition, IPAC agreed on the need for the Police Division to look into ways of cooperating more closely with regional organizations such as the AU, European Union, the Pacific Island Chiefs of Police and ASEANAPOL, which groups the Chiefs of Police from the Association of South-East Asian Nations region.

The 24 academics, senior level police and UN representatives who met also identified a number of new challenges facing the world body, in particular the need for enhanced efforts to fight corruption in post-conflict environments.

The meeting was run in cooperation with the Australian Federal Police and, along with Mr. Hughes, was also chaired by his predecessor as UNPOL chief, Mark Kroeker. Key participants included high-level academics and police chiefs from Australia, El Salvador, Indonesia, Nigeria, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Interpol.