A contingent of forty-one Namibian police officers, including 11 female officers, is ready to deploy to two of the three UN missions in the Sudans, namely the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and the newly established UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). The third mission is the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), established in June 2011.
The training took place at the Namibian Police College in Windhoek from 26 September to 2 October 2011. It brings to 103 the total number of police officers that have received pre-mission training support during the year. The first training during the year was provided to 63 Malawi police officers, including 20 female officers, in June.
The deployment of the contingent is expected to take place as soon as the necessary administrative arrangements with the UN are concluded. However, the deployment of the Malawi contingent, which should have taken place in June, is still pending owing to administrative bottlenecks over the issuance of visas. It is now expected to take place in December 2011.
The delayed deployment of these contingents could not have come at a crucial time, as all the seven UN missions currently deployed within Africa, except UNMIL, have shortfalls in the authorised strength of police. In addition, given the exigencies of the missions in the Sudans, the delayed deployments could also adversely impact mandate implementation in the missions.
The training support to Malawi brings the total of Police officers so far trained under TfP auspices since 2005 to 177. The deployment of the first batch will bring the total deployment to 141 or 78%. Another batch of 53 officers are waiting for the training as soon as they pass the UN Selection Assistance Training (SAT) programme.
Similarly, the training support to Namibia brings the total of TfP-assisted trained Namibia police officers since 2007 to 122. The deployment of the 2011 contingent will bring the total deployment to 100%.
These contributions continue to fulfil the goal of TfP as a â€˜unique tool streamlined to provide civilian personnel to peacekeeping operations. By this, the programme responds adequately to the demands from UN and regional organizations for civilian capabilitiesââ‚¬Â¦`.
Festus Aboagye email: email@example.com