2,300 police trainers needed for Afghanistan

March 27th, 2008 - 12:46 pm ICT by admin  

Brussels, March 27 (Xinhua) Around 2,300 police trainers are needed for Afghanistan to boost the police force and improve local governance, Maj. Gen. Robert W. Cone, a senior US military officer, who is heading the initiative in that country, said. The police trainers are needed for a new initiative to further reform the Afghan police. The initiative, called Focused District Development, aims at reforming the police, improve local governance, public works and the rule of law.

“We need additional police trainers to assist us to broaden this programme,” the US officer told Brussels-based reporters through a video link from Afghanistan Wednesday. He urged the international community to fill the shortfall.

He said the programme is planned in 52 out of the 364 districts this year. Currently, seven districts have carried out the programme, while training is under way in eight other districts.

Around 1,300 police trainers are presently working in Afghanistan. He said training the Afghan police is a much more complicated job than training the Afghan National Army, as the police is more prone to corruption.

Afghan police officers also have competency problems as many of them were members of former militia and did not receive professional education.

Currently, the Afghan army has 51,000 soldiers, while another 10,000 soldiers are receiving training. The total strength could reach 80,000 by March 2009, said Cone, commander of the Combined Security Transition Command.

However, the army is not expected to be fully independent until 2016, as they will require more time to improve their capabilities, he said.

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