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8 officers on UN mission will work with South Sudan police

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 12, 2012) – Eight police officers from Samoa are being deployed on a United Nations peacekeeping mission to South Sudan for the first time.

The four male and four female officers are currently involved with police military training, including fire-arm handling and will leave Samoa in two weeks to serve for one year in the new African country.

The Assistant Police Commissioner Leaupepe Fatu Pula says only two of them have been on peacekeeping missions before.

"They will be there to assist with the South Sudan police and general policing duties. Some hold the rank of inspector, some the level of sergeants and senior sergeants. So they all have different levels of experience, different ranks within the ministry of police."

Leaupepe Fatu Pula says Samoan officers have previously been deployed in Sudan and Liberia.

[PIR editor’s note: Samoan security forces have been in place around the world, assisting United Nations missions to address regional conflict. In 2003, the UN asked Samoa to send personnel to assist operations in Liberia, and Samoans were already serving in the Solomon Islands and East Timor at the time. In 2010, the first all-women contingent of police from Samoa arrived in East Timor for 12 months.]

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