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Home > News > PTI

CRPF to send all-women peacekeeping team to Liberia

September 11, 2006 21:13 IST

For the first time in the history of United Nations peacekeeping operations, India will contribute an all-women specialised armed contingent to the strife-torn African country of Liberia. The unit, comprising of 125 female officers from the CRPF known as a Formed Police Unit, will leave for Liberia in October to join the UN peacekeeping mission operating there since October 2003.

The officers, led by Commandant Seema Dhondiya, are presently undergoing final stages of their training. They are being given a refresher course in crowd-control, including baton wielding and handling of weapons and teargas shells, besides unarmed combat. The team will be armed with pistols, INSAS and AK-47 rifles and light machine guns.

The force is expected to undertake joint patrolling and general area domination, riot control, training of police officers of Liberian National Police and other related units during their stay in the crisis-hit nation. Significantly, the contingent will be carrying bulletproof vehicles, indigenous riot control vehicle Vajra, night vision devices and global positioning systems along with them for discharging their duties.

The UN Mission in Liberia took over peacekeeping duties from the Economic Community of West Africa States in October 2003 to bring about a thaw among warring ethnic groups.

The United Nations welcomed the "unprecedented" decision, saying, "it is an extremely timely and relevant move to the policing needs in the years ahead."

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