UN says half of Afghan police force formed
Kabul, November 7, 2004 - The Afghan government has achieved its target in the formation of a police force this year as over 27,000 policemen have been trained throughout the country, a UN spokesman said Sunday.
"The number of policemen trained around the country so far is 27,200," Manoel Almeida e Silva of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) told reporters here at a news briefing.
Under a UN-backed plan launched in 2002, post-war Afghanistan wants to have a 60,000-strong police force by the end of 2005.
"They all go through four to eight week training programs including learning how to march, the proper use of equipment, how to conduct search and basic need of human rights for those who are not literate," noted Manoel. Some 67 percent of these recruits are not literate, he further said.
The establishment of Afghan police is supported by the United States while Germany is the lead nation in that effort. With the support of others, post-war Afghanistan has planned to establish a 70,000-strong brand-new regular army to replace the existing 100,000 militia-style troops of which over 16,000 have been trained so far.