MONUSCO and Belgian Development Agency Have Signed a Memorandum of Understanding to Support PNC Reform

The future police academy will be dedicated to training a new generation of officers and managers according to international standards. / Photos MONUSCO

31 Jan 2023

MONUSCO and Belgian Development Agency Have Signed a Memorandum of Understanding to Support PNC Reform

Carine Tope

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the Belgian Development Agency (Enabel) have signed a memorandum of understanding to support the implementation of the Congolese National Police (PNC) reform.

The signing of this memorandum of understanding took place on January 24, 2023, at MONUSCO headquarters, between the chief of MONUSCO Police Component, commissioner Mody Berethe, and the resident representative of Enabel in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (DRC), Philippe-Serge Degernier.

According to the content of the signed document, the Belgian Agency “Enabel” will receive support from the UN Mission via its Police to operationalize the Police Academy (ACAPOL) built in the city of Kinshasa.

For the two institutions, the ambition to achieve a real civilian, republican, and professional police at the service of all Congolese men and women is a pre-requisite condition for harmonious development of the country and respect for human rights.

Concretely, the signing of this agreement would allow us to benefit from MONUSCO’s support, in this case MONUSCO police component to operationalize the police academy which is located here in Kinshasa and to ensure that the training of the first cohort of officers be launched this year with a view to professionalizing the body of the Congolese National Police", explained Philippe-Serge Degernier, representative of Enabel in the DRC. He went on to say: “The goal of the project is to be able to effectively provide the Congolese population with a professionalized national police force, which is much closer to the populations”.

This program will make it possible to provide training both for the officers and the men in the field, to specifically introduce a doctrine of community policing which has proven successful in other countries.

In the short term, this collaboration will take the form of joint support aimed at equipping the DRC’s police academy, whose first premises have been built with support from the European Union, for the purpose of its start-up in 2023.

Dedicated to the training of a new generation of officers and managers in accordance with international standards, this academy will be the spearhead of the reform in the years to come.

The head of MONUSCO Police component maintained that support for PNC reform falls within the framework of its mandate to contribute to the stabilization and enhancement of State institutions as well as the key governance and security reforms.

Mody Berethe also said MONUSCO police (UNPOL) is part of the group of partners having set up a support process for the reform of the Congolese National Police. “These efforts started at MONUC time with the work that was done in Kinshasa; discussions on reform resulted in the establishment of an executive secretariat for the police reform follow-up committee”.

Brigadier General Berethe applauded the concrete results obtained: "Today, what MONUSCO police are doing is continuing to work with the various partners so that the efforts that have been made can really be successful”.

It should be recalled that MONUSCO is mandated by the UN Security Council to provide support for the stabilization and strengthening of State institutions in the DRC as well as for the key governance and security reforms, including support for the security sector reform and the police sector.