UN begins training 35,000 Afghan police officers ahead of elections

1 June 2009
Women waiting to vote in Afghanistan

The first batch of Afghan police wrapped up a training programme today that will eventually reach tens of thousands of officers in preparation for this year’s presidential and provincial council elections, announced the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

The first batch of Afghan police wrapped up a training programme today that will eventually reach tens of thousands of officers in preparation for this year’s presidential and provincial council elections, announced the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Some 25 police officers have completed a two-day course in Kabul in the first phase of a programme that will train 350 officers in Herat, Kabul, Mazar and Kandahar who will then pass on their skills to 35,000 officers across the country ahead of the 20 August polls.

The programme aims to prime the police officers to tackle security threats and provide voters with the confidence needed to come out in large numbers and cast their ballots without fear, a UNAMA spokesperson told reporters in Kabul.

The elections support project of the UN Development Programme in Afghanistan (UNDP/ELECT), together with the European Union’s Police Mission (EUPOL) and the Ministry of Interior, is training officers on the electoral process, Afghanistan’s election law, international standards of elections and their role during the elections.

UNAMA and the UNDP/ELECT project are supporting Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission in organizing the polls, for which nominations closed on 8 May with 44 candidates in the running for the presidential election and 3,324 for the provincial council elections.

The UN Mission also announced that a girls’ high school has opened in the Qaramqul district of the northern province of Faryab with $257,000 in funding from Norway.

The project was implemented by the Department of Rehabilitation and Rural Development under UNDP’s National Area Based Development Programme.

The school, which can house 640 students at a time, is one of nine school projects which are under construction or rehabilitation by the area based programme in Faryab province with a total budget of close to $2 million.

In addition, children in the north-eastern province of Kunduz will have a new school building, where 15,000 students in the Qala-i-Zal district will be able to study in the school’s 16-classrooms thanks to the UNDP Afghanistan New Beginnings Programme.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Rural Development is building the school which costs $127,818, said UNAMA.

 

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