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Police officers leave for Sudan

11/15/2005 7:05pm

Five Fiji police officers leave the country today to spend the next 12 months with the United Nations peace mission in Sudan.

The Fiji Police Force farewelled the officers at a function in Suva this morning.

Team leader Senior Superintendent Berenado Daveta said the team was ready for the mission.

"Given the environment and the conditions we will be working under, we expect it not to be the same as in Fiji."

"This will be a challenge for most of our men on this mission to work under those conditions and the only risk factor that we see besides being hit by a bullet is the range of dangerous diseases in that country."

"However, all the officers have had immunisation and we will be required to work on the protection of human rights and the conditions of the United Nations are followed," Daveta said.

The five officers will be providing support to the two officers deployed earlier this year, to monitor the situation in Sudan.

Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes said Sudan was still a volatile place with the UN peacekeepers numbers increasing and our officers were told to take precautions as they were trained for all conditions.

"The officers have been reminded of the UN conditions and we are hoping none of these is breaching during their mission to Sudan."

The conflict in Sudan began in 2003 in the arid and impoverished region of Darfur in the North after a rebel group began attacking government targets claiming the region was being neglected.

The rebels claimed the government was favouring Arabs ahead of Black Africans.

The government had earlier denied any links to the Janjaweed militia, which has been accused of trying to "cleanse" large swathes of territory belonging to Black Africans.

This has forced a large migration out of the area with many complaining about the lack of food, water and medicine.


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