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500 Police personnel take first special assessment

…ahead of peacekeeping mission 

June 28, 2016 By Mohamed Massaquoi

500 personnel of the Sierra Leone Police, comprising 300 females and 200 males, have begun a weeklong examination at Hastings Police Training School, outside Freetown, as part preparations ahead for peacekeeping deployment in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and Darfur (UNAMID) respectively.

Addressing the personnel prior to start of the special assistance assessment test last Saturday, Inspector General of Police Francis Alieu Munu said he was pleased with their commitment since the process commenced few months ago, adding that peacekeeping missions across the world have brought a lot of praise to the force over the years.

He revealed that the 500 officers were chosen following rigorous assessments and coupled with their remarkable performance, adding that the final stage of taking an assessment examination would determine their knowledge in participating in peacekeeping missions especially in Darfur and South Sudan.

“Let me congratulate you for a job well done. There were more personnel who were determined to participate in this process but unfortunately they could not make it to this level. I want to encourage all of you to work hard and pass this examination. We have demonstrated transparency in the entire process and I am sure you will make use of this opportunity,” he said.

The Police boss recalled that President Ernest Bai Koroma, in his address to Members of Parliament on 14 December, 2015 stated that the country would continue to participate in peacekeeping operations at sub-regional and international levels in furtherance of the national interest and in meeting the country’s international obligations.

“On the 30 June to the 22 July 2014 the first screening process for FORM Police Unit (FPU), Police Guide Unit (PGU) and others were conducted and a total of 1,369 personnel of various skills were selected. Further screening was done from 15 March to 28 March, 2016 with the aim of having 500 personnel for a mixed of FPU, PGU SWAT contingents. In addition, the SLP is in the process of raising an all Female FPU for peacekeeping deployment,” IG Munu explained and added that the SLP would maintain standards at both national and international levels.

The UN Assessment Team was in the country three months ago to meet with the management of the SLP and hierarchy of Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and stakeholders to evaluate the readiness of both the Police and Army for deployment abroad.

After the visit, the team made recommendations for the country to be elevated to level 2 of police capacity readiness system.

Media and Public Relations Officer at Police headquarters, ASP Brima Kamara said the Sierra Leone Police started participating in peacekeeping missions in 2004, adding that the “SLP has contributed 554 officers, comprising 165 females and 389 males, to the UN Missions and Africa Union Missions where they served in various capacities and professional posts.”

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