Some 500 police personnel, including 50 women, from different territories in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are undergoing a retreat-style, 5-week training programme at the instruction camp of Munigi, some 5 kilometres north of Goma.
Included in these personnel are ex-combatants from the ex-armed group’s signatories to the 23 March agreements.
The training programme is designed to provide theoretical and practical instructions on road traffic management, public order maintenance and restoration, public security and human rights. The training opening ceremony took place in Goma yesterday the 28th of February, at Kanyarutchinya, in the presence of the Congolese administrative and police authorities as well as officials from MONUC, UNDP and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is funding the training project.
This training falls within the scope of activities covered by the security component of STAREC, reflecting the efforts by the Congolese authorities and the international community in the field of Security Sector Reform. Here the aim to restore State authority through police reform with a view to consolidating peace, protecting people and their property, particularly in eastern DRC, an area gradually coming out of conflict.
MONUC’s North Kivu office was represented by Aminata Mossi who recalled that this training programme was undertaken as part of the training aspects of MONUC’s mandate and was consistent with resolution 1906 of the UN Security Council. She noted also that it was the upshot of a close collaboration between JICA, UNDP, MONUC Police and the Congolese National Police (ONC). While acknowledging that significant improvements have been observed in the work of the PNC in North Kivu, shed noted, however, that “people continue to suffer from the insecurity they experienced on a daily basis” and that “For that reason, MONUC continues to support all efforts to enhance the protection of populations.” She called on the trainee police officers to demonstrate attentiveness and assiduity during the course of instructions.
As he presided over the opening ceremony, the Governor of North Kivu, Julien Paluku, recalled the police’s role and mission in the post-conflict period, addressing the 500 trainees as follows: “The army will soon be quartered in barracks and you will be entrusted with maintaining peace and looking after the security of important population centres. The task is, therefore, immense. It is up to you to capitalise on this training.”
The overall training project is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) at the cost of $1.8 million. The project is aimed at constructing/rehabilitating four instruction centres for the PNC, namely, Munigi in North Kivu (Munigi), Kapalata in Oriental Province, Kasangulu in Bas-Congo province, and Mbankana in the city-province of Kinshasa.
It is designed to train 4100 police officers, 1500 of whom in Kinshasa, 1500 in Bas-Congo, 600 in Oriental Province, and 500 in North Kivu, as well as proving them with food and equipment. MONUC, for its part, is providing training to these police officers, while UNDP is responsible for procuring the logistical support aspects of the project.
The Munigi instruction camp consists of a set of 40-person tents, an officer for the camp commander, an infirmary, a kitchen, and a reviewing stand for the morning parade.
Pic: DRC police