UN trains Congolese ex-fighters in policing

2 March 2010

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is training hundreds of police officers, including former members of armed groups, in human rights and public security in the country’s volatile far east.

During the training programme in Munigi, near Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, 500 police personnel, with 50 women among them, will also undergo training in road traffic management and the maintenance and restoration of public order.

The five-week scheme falls under the security component of the Government’s stabilization and recovery programme, known as STAREC, and seeks to restore State authority through police reform to consolidate peace and boost civilian protection.

Hundreds of thousands of people in North Kivu have been uprooted from their homes by violence in recent years.

“People continue to suffer from the insecurity they [experience] on a daily basis,” Aminata Mossi of the UN mission, known by its French acronym MONUC, said at the opening ceremony of the programme over the weekend.

The project is the result of close collaboration among MONUC, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is funding the $1.8 million training programme, which intends to reach more than 4,000 police officers overall.

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