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PNC: The restoration of state authority remains a priority

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MONUC - September 12, 2007 4:44 PM

National Congolese Police (PNC) chief Lieutenant General John Numbi said on his recent appointment that the PNC was going to do all to implement and restore state authority, in accordance with his new mandate. What are the measures being taken to ensure law and order and the security of the population and their property in Kinshasa? In an interview, John Numbi gives detailed answers on these and many other issues that face the PNC today.

Interview

How do you intend to restore the authority of the State, within the framework of the responsibilities that are entrusted to you?

The restoration of state authority remains my main aim. We must restore this authority at all costs, but how? We must fight severely against criminality, to protect the population and property as in our traditional mission. We have already succeeded in controlling the road traffic system, and the people of Kinshasa have proven they can change and obey the rules of the road.

And yet we used the same road traffic police officers. Today they are dynamically following our philosophy, and gradually bringing order back. We will work on the legal basis and will respect the law. It is only in this manner that the police officers can work like professionals.

The Kinshasa population complains more and more about the increasing rate of criminality. What measures have you implemented to stop or curb this criminality?

The people of Kinshasa appreciate the work which the police force carries out today, and it is true that crime cannot be stopped with a magic wand.

The police force is on the case of the criminals. The police force has been deployed in great numbers everywhere, and we will collaborate with the population to put an end to criminality and organised crime.

There is also much other crimes, in particular sexual violence against women where the PNC has been implicated. How do you respond to these allegations?

I do not want to vilify a police officer as I command the police force. I must carry the burden of all acts committed by the PNC.

But the acts of some police officers should not implicate the whole police force. There is certainly some isolated cases. The Congolese police officers who commit sexual violations will not escape the full rigour of the law, and I will remain vigilant.

We cannot accept a police force who commits such acts against a population they are supposed to protect. This is why we will pass to another stage through the creation of a local police, which will work beside the population, to better understand the problems.

It will be a police force in which the population will have confidence and trust, for their peace and security.

Do you think that the antisocial behavior involving some police officers is due to the poor wages they receive?

Thank you for the question. It is not because the police officer is badly paid that he takes the goods of others.

We have a rule of law but we have a long way to go; it is necessary to be patient. The government is making efforts to improve the wages of the police. However, the improvement of the wages involves not only the police force, but all the civil servants in the state. We must take social care of the police officer.

What are the expectations of the police force, compared to MONUC and the whole international community?


Expectations are great from all sides, because we need a professional police force. We can only thank MONUC and the international community which trained the police officers that secured the elections, subsequently assisting in the establishment of democracy in Congo.

The international community noted that we need a professional police force; this is why it is helping us to reform our police force. It is for the state to express its needs; the support of the international community will follow.

How do you feel following the historic deployment of Congolese police officers in United Nations peacekeeping missions?

I am very happy, because we were absent for a long time on the international scene. Now we will return and this is a good thing! This will give another image of our police force.

Experience sharing is a good thing and we will continue to do more so that our police force can have a better visibility. We had hoped that a whole contingent would be sent abroad.

In any case, I can only wish good luck to the officers who will leave. They must behave well, by respecting the officers under whom they will work, and the law of the countries in which they will work.


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