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UN Police Trainers To Meet Over Plans For Darfur

UN Police trainers to meet in Ghana to discuss plans for Darfur force

15 February 2008 - Senior international police trainers will gather in Ghana next week to coordinate plans to run pre-deployment training for the thousands of United Nations police - the largest-ever UN Police contingent - mandated to serve in the joint peacekeeping mission to Sudan's troubled Darfur region.

The five-day conference, which is being sponsored by Germany, will start on Monday and will take place at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana's capital, according to a press release.

The conference will involve the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) Police Division and the Integrated Training Service, and will focus on how pre-deployment training for police officers can be improved, it added.

The joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force (UNAMID) will require the largest single UN Police contingent ever, with more than 6,400 police officers out of a total of over 30,000 personnel.

Over 30 senior police trainers will take part in next week's conference, along with representatives from the UN Police Division, Ghana's Inspector General of Police and the German Ambassador, representing the donor nation.

In a related development, some 250 Nigerian police officers who will serve with UNAMID are being trained by Norwegian officers as part of Norway's long-term Training for Peace (TfP) program, according to a press release from Norway's Mission to the UN.

Norway has trained African police personnel for peacekeeping operations since 1998 when Norway and African partners started the TfP program in Southern Africa. This specific Darfur training involves trainers from Norway, together with TfP colleagues from South Africa and Botswana, working with Nigerian officers in the capital Abuja.

Norwegian police also take part directly in UN peacekeeping operations and currently there are 36 officers serving in missions worldwide.

ENDS

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