Work on EU-funded Police Staff College begins
KABUL (PAN): Construction work on a permanent European Union-funded Police Staff College for the Ministry of Interior was launched in Kabul on Saturday, officials said.
Interior Minister Bismillah Khan, EU Special Representative Ambassador Vygaudas Ušackas, EUPOL Mission head, Brig. Gen. Jukka Savolainen and IOM Representatives Enira Kradzalic and Ziauddin Ahmed attended the groundbreaking ceremony.
A statement from the EU said the project, worth 15 million euros, supports the construction of a Police Staff College in Kabul and a Regional Police Training Centre, with a special section for women police in Bamyan province.
Ministry of Interior deputy spokesman, Dr. Najib Nekzad, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Staff College was being built in the 12th police district of Kabul. Construction work on the three-storey building would be completed in a year, he said.
With the contract being implemented by the IOM, which also takes the lead on the construction of the police training centres, EUPOL will be the project partner for police training and capacity building activities.
Ambassador Ušackas Speaking told the cornerstone ceremony: "The European Union considers it vital to assist the Afghan government in being self-reliant, and the training of civilian police is a step in this direction.
"A well-trained police force that respects the universal rights and freedoms is a key component in the transformation of Afghanistan into an independent and self-sufficient country," he added.
Bismillah Khan, calling the project a symbol of the close cooperation between EUPOL and Afghan police, hoped it would help continue fruitful support for civil policing in Afghanistan.
EUPOL’s Head of Mission BG Savolainen praised the event as "a milestone in the history of the partnership between EU and Afghanistan, underlining the purpose of the EU to support Afghanistan also beyond 2014."
Since 2002, the EU has provided support in the form of police salaries and police reforms, channeled mainly through the Law and Order Trust Fund (LOTFA). With a total contribution of EUR 272.25 million to date, the EU remains one of the largest contributors to this Trust Fund.