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Recruitment campaign for 3,500 new police in Liberia begins - UN mission

6 May 2004 ? Recruitment has begun for 3,500 new police officers in Liberia as part of the effort to help re-establish the rule of law in the West Africa country, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) said today.

Launching the recruitment drive yesterday in the capital, Monrovia, UNMIL chief Jacques Paul Klein said 3,500 men and women will be recruited and trained over the next two years for a new Liberian Police Service "of whom the Liberian people can be proud."

"We are looking for the men and women - let me repeat, and women - of Liberia who stand tall in character, who have the commitment to succeed, who have a strong sense of integrity and respect for fellow man, and who can perform a truly difficult job with compassion and dignity," Mr. Klein said.

He also urged the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) to continue its commitment to re-establish the rule of law in Liberia, "a rule of law guided by the participation of the people, to assist the people, and to protect the people from those who may have other agendas."

NTGL Chairman C. Gyude Bryant said the recruitment of a new police service was necessary because of "the abuses, harassment, intimidation and humiliation our police have brought on our people," and cautioned all those interested in applying to remember why this new process has been initiated.

"When you go through your training, we will never again experience what we have experienced in the past," he said. "The new recruits must earn the respect of the people by respecting their basic civil liberties."

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