Trainers and graduates at the Trainers and graduates at the "Training the Trainers" course in Nairobi, Kenya.

Norway helps train South-Sudanese police

2/24/2010 // Norway has assisted the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) in training 120 South Sudanese police officers. The graduates will be sent to train around 1000 local police officers on election security during the forthcoming election this April. While this is the first time UNMIS is engaged in such "Training of Trainers" activities, the South Sudan authorities has signalled a desire for more long-term Norwegian assistance to the building of its police force. The international “Training for Peace” program – which is fully funded by Norway – is central in this initiative.

Representatives from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Police Directorate visited Sudan last November to meet with delegations from UNMIS, “Training for Peace” and South Sudanese authorities. During the delegation’s visit to Khartoum, Rajesh Dewan, Police Commissioner in UNMIS, asked for Norway’s support in the training of South Sudanese police officers in election security. The idea was to "train trainers", that in turn could train local police officers to increase security around the many polling stations in South Sudan both before and during the election in April. Setting up a local South Sudanese pool of trainers is a key to local capacity building efforts, something that was echoed by all parties.

One of the trends in peacekeeping is to increasingly involve officers in the training of host nations' police forces, and not exclusively perform pure peacekeeping missions. Building ownership with the UN and host country is key in “Training of Trainers”, which in this case was achieved through close dialogue with the UN Secretariat in New York, different layers of UNMIS and South Sudanese authorities represented by the Minister of Internal Affairs Mr. Gier Chuang.   

The training in itself took place over a three-week period in February in neighbouring Kenya. Feedback on the program from UNMIS and South Sudanese authorities was positive, and will form basis for security training in South Sudan before the 2011 referendum. Many pieces still need to fall in place in order to take advantage of the recent training graduates, who are now being dispatched with UNMIS forces to ten South-Sudanese regions for training of local police officers.

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