News / Africa

UN Police in Congo Under Scrutiny

United Nations peacekeepers stand in the background as a Congolese national police officer holds a sword and stands with other officers during a gathering in Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 2, 2012.
United Nations peacekeepers stand in the background as a Congolese national police officer holds a sword and stands with other officers during a gathering in Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, December 2, 2012.
Nick Long
A United Nations police chief in the Democratic Republic of Congo is defending his force against accusations of ineffectiveness in its mission to train Congolese police. 

How many United Nations police does it take to train 2,000 Congolese police officers over the course of a year?  The answer appears to be about 1,000 - with the help of good interpreters.

General Abdallah Wafy, who commands the police contingent of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Congo, MONUSCO, is having difficulty explaining what else his 1,050 officers have been doing in the DRC for the last year - apart from a small amount of training.

He said he will give a brief initial report on his unit’s activities to show it performs an important role but that it needs more funds to do so properly.

The general said the U.N. police, known as UNPOL, have provided basic training to 1,250 Congolese police officers over a six-month period and some training in neighborhood policing to 800 officers over a shorter time frame.

He said that over the past three years, the U.N. has given basic training to a total of 3,500 Congolese police. And he said there had been some specialized instruction in computing for senior officers, but no figures were given for the number trained.

In addition to its 1,050 officers in the Congo, UNPOL employs some 350 specialists.  The U.N. police do not perform regular patrols, nor do they have the power to make arrests.  

This has led many here to question the effectiveness of such a large training unit, which consists mainly of police from Bangladesh, India, Egypt and Senegal.
Several Congolese journalists have suggested the figure of 1,250 Congolese officers trained was largely insufficient given the needs in the country.

General Wafy agreed.

The problem, he said, is that training costs money -- just training 1,000 Congolese police over six months costs $2.8 million, for example. He appealed to donors to provide more funding so that the UNPOL could get on with training the other 100,000 largely untrained police in the country.

The usefulness of the police contingent has been questioned within MONUSCO for some time. Last year, MONUSCO published an article in one of its brochures stating the force had been searching for a role.

Now with an African peacekeeping force due to arrive to reinforce MONUSCO, and the prospect of downsizing for the rest of the force, there appears to be more pressure to justify the U.N. police’s role.

You May Like

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid