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Published on February 4, 2010
Participation of French police in Afghan police training – Reply by Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, to a written question in the National Assembly

Paris, February 2, 2010

Since July 2003, police nationale (1) officers have been actively participating, in the framework of the Priority Solidarity Fund (2), in developing the operational capabilities of the Afghan police in Kabul.
This includes helping train police officers engaged in criminal investigations, the technical and scientific police (3), counter-narcotics units and officers responsible for the protection of minors.

In addition, in 2009, 500 police officers were trained in the techniques of close protection in order to create a VIP protection service which is in the process of being set up. This training is carried out by officers seconded for periods ranging from a few days to several weeks and will be pursued in 2010.

Also, in April 2009, at the NATO summit in Strasbourg and Kehl, President Sarkozy announced the dispatch of 150 gendarmes to Afghanistan. They have been deployed as part of the European Gendarmerie Force within the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A), since the beginning of December 2009. Their mission has two components: firstly, the initial training of NCOs and officers who have risen through the ranks, the Afghan National Civil Order Police (ANCOP). This training takes place in Mazar-e-Sharif (Northern Afghanistan); and secondly, the mentoring of the Afghan Uniformed Police (AUP) units.

Today, four Police Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams (POMLTs) are deployed in the districts of Tagab (one POMLT) and Nijrab (one POMLT), both in Kapisa province, and also of Surobi (two POMLTs), i.e. in the areas where the French military forces are deployed. There are also 13 French personnel deployed by the police nationale, gendarmerie nationale and Foreign and European Affairs Ministry in the European Union Police Mission (EUPOL) in Afghanistan.

The objective of the French participation in training the Afghan police is to contribute actively to the training of an effective operational security force, respecting the essential ethical rules and capable of ensuring the population’s security in the areas from which the Taliban have been hounded. The country has to become safe and secure in order to facilitate the return of the country’s economic development and its stabilization./.

(1) France has two police forces, one civilian, the Police nationale, and the other military, the gendarmerie nationale. Essentially, the military force polices rural areas and towns and cities of fewer than 20,000 inhabitants, with the civilian force covering the rest of the country, although in practice the division is not so clear-cut.

(2) Priority Solidarity Fund money is allocated to assist countries in the ZSP – Zone de solidarité prioritaire, a group of countries eligible for bilateral French official assistance.

(3) Basically responsible for crime labs, criminal identification records and information and technical and scientific support for criminal investigations.

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