IG visits Darfur war zone

 IG visits Darfur war zone

In a symbolic gesture of Zambia Police Service’ contribution to African Union – United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja has made a historic visit to El Fasher, North Darfur.

The visit which is the first of its kind in the history of the Zambia Police Service was undertaken to attend a Medals Parade, appreciate the operation of UNAMID and understand the challenges which the officers are facing on the ground.

Addressing the officers when he first met them, Mr Kanganja retaliated the need for them to uphold high levels of discipline and abide by the UN core values.

During the visit, the IG promoted 10 officers, seven out of which are female.

The promotions ranging from Sergeant to Chief Inspector have served as a motivational factor to the officers currently serving under very difficult conditions in not only trying to bring lasting peace to Darfur but also lift the Zambian flag high.

Mr Kanganja is accompanied by Director of UN-AU Peacekeeping Support Operations Unit Deputy Commissioner of Police Byemba Musole and Senior Superintendent Pious Malumo.

Speaking during the medal Parade held in El Fasher, North Darfur, the IG revealed that the Zambia Police Service is currently preparing for the deployment of Formed Police Units (FPUs) in various missions.

He further stated that plans are underway to hold an all-female United Nations Selection Assistance and Assessment Test (SAAT) in recognition of the pivotal role that women play in contributing to peace in conflict torn areas.

Gracing the medals parade as a guest of honor, Unamid Joint Special Representative His Excellency Kingsley Mamabolo applauded the IGs visit to Darfur as it demonstrated the importance the Zambia Police Service attaches to the efforts in bringing lasting peace to the people of Darfur.

He further extended his gratitude on behalf of the mission to the Government and people of Zambia for the contribution stating that the IG’s presence also acts as a sign of encouragement to the valiant Zambian peacekeepers serving under the United Nations flag in Darfur.

Currently, Zambia has 66 individual police officers serving in various capacities in Darfur.

Earlier, Mr Kanganja paid a courtesy call on the UNAMID Police Commissioner (PC) Priscilla Makotose where he stated that Zambia Police Service will continue deploying Individual Police Officers and encouraged qualified officers to apply for professional positions in order to contribute towards peacebuilding in war-tone areas.

In responding to the IG’s remarks, Ms Makotose revealed that Zambia Police is among the top-five Police Contributing Countries (PCCs) in UNAMID. She applauded Zambia for ensuring that more women participate in peacekeeping process as exhibited in the number of Zambian female police officers deployed in UNAMID.

The PC further expressed contentment in the way the Zambian contingent has performed in the mission to the extent of holding leadership positions such as Heads of Units, Team Site Commanders and Operations Officers.

In preparation for the deployment of FPUs, the IG and his entourage visited the Indonesian FPU camp based in El Fasher to assess the mission requirements of Contingent-owned equipment and pre-deployment training preparations.

The entourage further paid a courtesy call on the Wali of Darfur (Governor) Abduwahid Yousif Ibrahim who expressed delight with the visit, saying it reflected a spirit of true brotherhood and friendship between Zambia and Sudan.

The Zambia Police service has been participating in various peace support operations world over since 1989 and has so far deployed 1820 officers in 15 different peacekeeping missions. The first deployment involved 50 police officers to the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) in Namibia to monitor the peace process and elections.

Zambia Police officers were among the first group of peacekeepers that were deployed in Darfur at the inception of the mission in 2004 before its transition in 2007 from African Union Mission in Darfur to a hybrid mission.

In line with gender parity, 35 percent of the 133 Zambia Police officers deployed in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia are women.
By Charity Munganga-Chanda
Assistant Commissioner of Police in Darfur

Alice Nachilembe


Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.

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