Sep 8, 2006

Ladies, We Salute You!

CRPF women for UN operations in Liberia

.....A section of the women personnel of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will show their expertise in war-torn Liberia to assist in UN operations - a move that has already won praise from the world body.

The designated mahila (women) CRPF team of 125 personnel, led by Commandant Seema Dundiya, is currently undergoing specialised training at the CRPF’s industrial training centre in Wazirabad, north Delhi, before they travel to the west African country most probably in October.

‘This is the first time that a specialised unit of women police is being sent for such a mission. They will assist in maintaining law and order, play a training role for local officers and help in crowd control,’ a senior home ministry official told IANS.


The move to send the specialised CRPF unit to Liberia’s capital Monrovia as a formed police unit (FPU) has already won praise from the UN with police adviser Mark Kroeker describing it as ‘unprecedented’.

‘This is an unprecedented move by India to deploy these women officers in policing and we applaud it and think it is extremely timely and relevant to the policing needs in the years ahead,’ Kroeker said.

‘We think it is a breakthrough that India has expressed its willingness to send these police officers. And it is also good for our Liberia mission because it brings to that police operation these officers who are trained, capable and women who can bring the best of what the UN police is to the component there,’ he added.

The UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) took over peacekeeping duties from the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) in October 2003 and all peacekeepers are now under UN command.

The all-women Indian unit will join other FPUs currently serving in Liberia, where the concept was first tried out and its success there and in other operations led to calls for increasing deployment.

According to the terms of a memorandum of understanding, the CRPF women’s unit will be in Liberia for a year...


Its mandate includes monitoring implementation of ceasefires between government and rebel forces and investigating violations of the ceasefire. Its also ensures the delivery of humanitarian aid, provides security at key government installations, including major sea and air ports, and protecting UN staff, facilities and civilians.

The CRPF is the only paramilitary force in the country with two women battalions.
After it was raised in March 1987, the 88th battalion won laurels for its work during the Meerut riots and later with the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka. [India]

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