Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Policing the DRC - should South Africa pay the bill?

Irin reports that the South African Police Service (SAPS) is helping the Democratic Republic of Congo develop its policing system through a multi-million dollar training programme.

"The 10-year Development Assistance Programme is currently in its first phase, which kicked off in July this year and will run until the DRC goes to polls next year, according to SAPS programme manager Jap Burger. The estimated budget for the first two phases of the three-phase project is about US $36.9 million. Burger said funding was being discussed with various donors, but operational funding was currently being provided by the SAPS budget. Over 100 members of the DRC national police have so far received training. "

On the one hand I think its good that South Africa is helping the DRC in an area that will be vital to building peace. Peace in the DRC is vital to peace on the continent as so many other African countries tend to become embroiled in conflict in that particular country. The other side of the coin, in a country with a high crime rate like ours, and a severely under-resoursed police department - can we afford to have the SAPS police budget paying for this initiative, as valuable as it may be to long term peace and stability on the continent?

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