UN’s top woman cop is from Senegal


Major Seynabou Diouf of the Senegal National Police is the 2019 UN Female Police Officer of the Year.

Major Diouf currently leads a task force helping to prevent and end sexual exploitation and abuse with the UN Organisation Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) and is based in Goma, North Kivu. She also leads the UN Police Women’s Network, which connects female officers for mentoring, training, professional development and mutual support.

The UN Female Police Officer of the Year award was established in 2011 to recognise exceptional contributions of female police officers to UN peacekeeping and to promote empowerment of women.

In choosing Diouf, the selection committee commended her exemplary service, which has a direct and positive impact on the community and the Congolese national police.

“Through her work in supporting survivors of sexual violence through the UN Police Women’s Network in MONUSCO, along with initiatives to strengthen community-oriented policing in the Congolese National Police, Major Diouf embodies the spirit of the award and the core values of the organisation,” said United Nations Police Adviser Luis Carrilho. “She is an inspiration to all.”

“It is a massive honour to receive the UN Female Police Officer of the Year award. It means a lot to me. Preventing sexual exploitation and abuse is a priority for me, my team and my mission. I believe our efforts are paying off. As an example, not a single allegation has been recorded against MONUSCO police this year. We can always do more – a single allegation is one too many. We need to continue doing everything possible to ensure this number remains at zero and victims of abuse receive the support they deserve,” the Senegalese police officer said.

The award will be presented at a ceremony on Tuesday at UN Headquarters during the 14th United Nations Police Week. During the week heads of UN police components and police experts from 14 peacekeeping operations, special political missions and regional offices, will discuss topics related to performance, strengthening conduct and discipline and sustaining peace through promoting human rights.

Diouf was selected from 30 nominations from eight missions. Her previous UN experience includes deployments with the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), where she addressed misconduct and welfare issues. Her national experience spans 33 years with the Senegal National Police.

Close on ten thousand UN police are deployed in peace operations, helping to enhance international peace and security supporting member states in conflict, post-conflict and crisis situations.

Currently more than 1 400 female police officers serve in UN peace operations. The world body aims to deploy 30% women among individual police officers and 20% among formed police units by 2028.

Senegal is the largest contributor of police to UN peace operations and is among the top five contributors of female police officers.