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Turkish training will strengthen police, says Commissioner Riyaz

Maldives on 21 August 2013
Location : Maldives | Source : Minivan News. Image Source: Minivan News

Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz has hailed a new agreement between the Turkish Government and the Maldives Police Service (MPS) as providing the means to strengthen the institution.

Returning from an official trip to Turkey last week, Riyaz posted a video statement online revealing the full details of the memorandum of understanding with Turkish police.

“They have agreed to give us 5 slots in a degree programme in a security studies course, as well as 2 slots in a masters programme, scheduled to start in their Police Academy next month,” he explained.

The police commissioner also revealed that the MPS will, in future, be offered instruction in policing corruption, drugs, and serious organised crime.

“We have also asked for assistance with obtaining police electronics, computers, vehicles and infrastructure. They appeared positive and said they will respond to proposals on a case by case, project by project basis,” he continued.

The Turkish government has reportedly been offering similar training and assistance to a number of countries this year, including Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Albania, Mongolia, Palestine, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan.

Riyaz’s announcement of the deal’s specifics follows criticisms by former President Mohamed Nasheed over what he believes is a lack of police reform following the publication of the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI) report last year.

Speaking at the opening of a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) campaign outlet in Male’ yesterday (August 19), Nasheed reportedly told supporters that he had failed to see any police reform, despite his acceptance of the CoNI report being based solely on this feature.

The report, designed to investigate the circumstances surrounding Nasheed’s controversial resignation on February 7, 2012, urged changes to the country’s judiciary, legislature, certain independent institutions, and the police service.

Nasheed and the ousted MDP have maintained that the former president’s resignation took place under duress during a police and military mutiny, and that the ensuing government of Dr Mohamed Waheed is illegitimate.

Whilst ruling the transfer of power not to have been a coup, the commission recommended “immediate steps be taken to provide assistance and encouragement…with a view to their increased effectiveness and general performance in the service of the common good and public interest.”

Commissioner Riyaz, appointed immediately after Nasheed’s controversial resignation, has been condemned by the MDP for his alleged role in the former president’s exit from office.

Despite his misgivings over the police’s progress towards addressing the CoNI report’s recommendations, Nasheed struck a conciliatory tone towards police, urging cooperation from his supporters.

“During this period, I urge all members of this party to smile at police officers, to care for them, to cooperate with them and trust them,” he said.

Local media also reported Nasheed as expressing his wish to address each police officer individually in his attempts to press ahead with reforming the institution.

“I believe that Maldives cannot have stability without reforming the police service,” said Nasheed.

Riyaz last month said he would not follow any unconstitutional orders, following a leaked document purported to be the MDP’s plans for introducing decentralised security services in the event of victory in next month’s presidential poll. The document was disowned by Nasheed’s party.

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