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Mozambique: For a better police force

20-05-1998 News Release 98/20

From 20 to 23 April a training course on rules of international humanitarian law and human rights law for Mozambique's police and security forces took place in the capital, Maputo. The course was organized by the ICRC regional delegation in Harare, Zimbabwe, in cooperation with the Mozambique Red Cross Society. It was held in three police schools and attended by cadets and senior officers of the country's police force.

As part of the reorganization of the national police force being carried out with support from the UNDP, in 1997 the Mozambican authorities set up a major training and reorientation programme, conducted by a detachment of the Spanish Guardia civil. This year the programme should enable some 2,000 police staff to receive professional training in line with the requirements of a democratic State.

" It was a great experience " , said Lt.-Col. Joao Raimundo de S. Amorim, Commander of the Military Police College of Trapiche (northern Brazil), who conducted the course on behalf of the ICRC. " It was highly motivating to see how enthusiastic the cadets were, and how keen to learn. After years of civil war everyone is eager to absorb new ideas and the principles of modern democracy. I'll be glad to come back! "

In addition to the teaching provided by Police Academy staff, the Mozambique Red Cross will, with ICRC backing, give a 15-hour course on first aid and the basic principles of international humanitarian law to the 50 classes which will receive instruction in this training centre by th e end of 1998.