- The war-ravaged West African state of Liberia is the first country in the world where an all-women UN peace keeping force is sent. The Commandeer of the Indian UN Formed Police Unit (FPU), Seema Dhundiya, landed in the Liberian capital Monrovia on Sunday. She was part of an advance team that came ahead of the deployment of a 125-strong force this month.
Spokesperson for the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Ben Dotsei Malor, said Ms Dhundiya came with logistics and engineering specialists who will prepare before the rest of the team arrive on 29 January.
The force comprises of 103 women officers and 22 male logistics staff who will be deployed in Monrovia.
India offered the contingent as a fulfilment of its last September promise that it would assist UNMIL operations.
Over the past few years, the UN has recorded success with FPUs. The teams are to bridge the gap between regular and lightly armed police and fully armed blue-helmets. Armed less than the regular security unit, an FPU is tasked with providing general support to UN policing in Liberia where they protect UN officials and civilian police while they perform their duties.
UN officials added that the unit would also act as a rapid reaction force for crowd control and help train Liberian police.
The UN Scribe's Special Representative in Liberia, Alan Doss, urged all young women who are interested in joining the country's police to apply to a UN-backed programme, which he said, would uplift the educational level of recruits up to a high enough standard that they can apply to join.
"This is an opportunity to not only enhance your education, but, if you successfully pass the test, you can join the LNP (Liberia National Police) and help make a difference to your country, especially the women of this country," he said.
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