After 9 years of service in war-ravaged Liberia, this Indian Formed Police Unit is returning home. Drawn from the Rapid Action Force of the Central Police Reserve Force, this team was deployed with the United Nations Mission in Liberia in 2007. It also holds the honour of being the the first-ever all-woman police unit in UN peacekeeping history.
The Indian Formed Police Unit will leave Liberia on February 14 and will contribute to safeguarding national security once it’s back.
Photo source: UN
The contingent was trained at the CRPF camp in Delhi on the security conditions of West Africa, before it left India in 2007. The unit has worked in a high-risk environment and has played a crucial role in ensuring the peaceful conduct of elections in Liberia. It has also guarded the President’s Office at one point.
Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf bid farewell to the Indian Formed Police Unit. She said that its contribution has inspired Liberian women and encouraged them to play a role in national security.
“Our security service now has 17% women – we owe all that to you, because it was not even 1% a few years ago. And these women want to emulate you in the way you’ve served this country,” she said to the Indian Express.
According to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Farid Zarif, the unit not only performed its peacekeeping duties well, but was also involved in the community.
It provided training in self-defence, first aid and also taught Indian cultural arts to the community.
Photo source: Flickr/United Nations Photo
“You have also reached out to the orphans at Hebron Orphanage; under your patronage you provided support and assistance there. You also reached out to schools, and the Victory Chapel School in Congo Town was also under your patronage. When you are long gone, the memories that you will be leaving behind will be remembered and fondly cherished by both the people of Liberia as well as your colleagues within the United Nations,” Mr. Zarif told The Wire.