Beni: OICHA National Police Equipped with Training Room

Oicha police officers trained in securing the electoral process. Around 500 police officers are receiving the three-month training which began in September 2023. / Photos MONUSCO

13 Oct 2023

Beni: OICHA National Police Equipped with Training Room

Joël Bofengo

Oicha police officers now have a training room that can accommodate up to fifty people. The construction of this premises was financed to the tune of approximately $ 22,000 by MONUSCO to facilitate training sessions for these police officers even after MONUSCO’s exit from the DRC.

Previously, to receive training, Oicha police officers had to travel to Beni, thirty kilometers away. A real headache with challenges like transport, empty posts… From now on, there is no need to travel to receive training on securing the electoral process or respecting the rights of people in detention. The room which will soon be equipped with computer equipment for the purposes of training activities.

Continuing education

During the inauguration ceremony of this training room, General Mody Berethe, MONUSCO police chief, on mission to Beni for this occasion, insisted on the need to have trained police to ensure safety for both properties and persons in an area where, according to the local police commander, security situation is “worrying”.

We must therefore continue to train the police and equip them with necessary tools to enable them to properly carry out their mission, as part of the responsible withdrawal of MONUSCO whenever possible.

“To date, General Mody Berethe said, the discussions we are having with our PNC counterparts PNC [Congolese National Police], lie on how to ensure that the achievements of the recent years are perpetuated and consolidated after MONUSCO’s exit. We hope, when we leave, PNC in Beni, in Oicha, will continue to benefit from fuel, to benefit from support so that the toll-free line keeps operating for the population to keep calling the police and well-trained police officers can respond to calls from the population.”

For his part, the police commander in Oicha, Senior Commissioner Michel Mbala, noted with satisfaction that the new training room will allow these police officers to train continuously.

“We are 90% ready.”

The police officer emphasized that the ultimate goal is to have a professional police Force, capable of effectively ensuring the maintenance of public order and any other missions provided for by the Congolese law. A doctor without training cannot operate on a patient. Why should an untrained police officer secure the population? “, underlining the need to have properly trained police officers.

And as the elections drawing near, the issue of securing the electoral process is on everyone's lips. “We are 90% ready,” reassured François Kalonda, deputy superintendent of the National Intervention Legion, when asked about the capacity of the police to carry out their missions on the day of the vote.

If he is so affirmative, it is because alongside UNPOL/Beni instructors, he is currently training Oicha police officers in securing the electoral process. Around 500 police officers must follow this three-month training which began last September.

The trained police officers simulated an intervention they may likely be required to carry out on the day of the vote before the participants. “We simulated a situation in a polling station where the vote was taking place normally until a voter began to alert the neighborhood about alleged ballot stuffing,” explained deputy senior commissioner François Kalonda.

For these Congolese police officer, this type of incident could actually happen on a voting day next December. The police must therefore be ready. “Day after day, we are bracing ourselves to be ready for the D-day,” he said, optimistically. Until the day of the vote, and even after, the Oicha police officers now have a framework to train in optimal conditions.