Future officers buoyed by post-elections praise for police
Following the 5 April 2014 national elections, the Afghan National Police (ANP) were praised for providing improved security which enabled citizens to vote in the country’s elections despite serious threats.
The applause came from within Afghanistan – police were even presented with flowers in some cities as a thank you from elders and business leaders – and from the international community, including the UN Secretary-General.
- In April 2014, a total of 499 male ANP police trainees headed to the Sivas Police Training Centre in Turkey for six months of intensive police training.
- The Sivas Non-Commissioned Officer Training for Afghan trainees is supported by the Government of Japan and the NATO-Training Mission Afghanistan (NTM-A), and supported by UNDP through LOTFA.
- This is the fourth batch of male officer candidates to be trained in Sivas, Turkey, under a Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of Afghanistan and Turkey.
- The Ministry of Interior Affairs selects its trainees from Year 12 high school graduates in all 34 provinces to ensure all language groups and many tribes are represented and that new recruits are literate.
- To date, 1,458 Afghan officer candidates have graduated from the Sivas Police Training Centre, supported via LOTFA.
“I am 100 per cent optimistic about the future development of our police and their ability to keep this country safe and implement the Rule of Law,” says General Abdul Basir, Commander of the ANP Central Training Centre and Regional Training Centres. “We have trained many good police and we saw during the elections how they successfully stayed one step ahead and prevented many problems,” General Basir recalls.
In mid-April, the Central Training Centre in Kabul hosted the latest intake of 499 male police trainees for briefings prior to their departure for six months of intensive training in Turkey. For these young ANP trainees to begin their journey against widespread praise for the police role during the elections is a far cry from years gone by. It is bringing new hope for the future.
“In my view it was a good achievement for the police during the elections and it’s made me proud and happy I applied to become a policeman,” explains one trainee, Murtaza, 21, of Wardak province.
Accompanied by 12 ANP trainers, these future police officers will attend Turkey’s renowned Sivas Police Training Centre, made possible through a Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of Turkey and Afghanistan, signed in 2011, for cooperation to build the capacity of the ANP.
During their Non-Commissioned Officer Training in Sivas, the trainees will gain skills and knowledge in policing and the Rule of Law, including basic victims’ rights, policing in a democratic society, ethics and values, logistics and first aid.
“I want to have better police so I hope I return from Turkey with a good understanding of policing so I can serve my country professionally,” Murtaza says.
A desire to be part of a more professional, respected national police force is echoed by another new trainee, Esmatullah, 23, of Kandahar province. “We want to know how another country trains its police and share what we learn with our police and our people. I want to help bring the Afghan National Police to the same level as police in other countries,” Esmatullah says.
The training is financed by the Government of Japan and the NATO-Training Mission Afghanistan (NTM-A), and supported by UNDP through the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA). The training cooperation and selection of participants is led by the Ministry of Interior Affairs.
The ministry selects its future police officers from Year 12 high school graduates in all 34 provinces to ensure all language groups and many tribes are represented, and that new recruits can read and write. It is the shared hope of the government and its partners that by continuing to build the capacity of the ANP, the performance of the police will improve further, and with it, their reputation and standing within the communities they serve.
This is the fourth batch of ANP trainees to attend the Sivas academy with administrative assistance from UNDP. Since 2011, a total of 1,458 Afghan police officer candidates have graduated from the Sivas Training Centre, with support via LOTFA.
LOTFA is an established partnership initiative which enables the international community to support efforts led by the Afghan Government to strengthen the country’s law enforcement.