EU to continue police reform program

08 February 2016
EU to continue police reform program
Myanmar Police block the road as they halt student protesters in Yangon on 10 March 2015. Photo: Mizzima

The European Union (EU), which has been implementing a series of reform initiatives for the Myanmar police force, will continue with their activities over the coming five year period, expanding to more parts of the country, the Global New Light of Myanmar reported on 8 January.
The EU conducted training sessions with the Myanmar police between 2013-15 on cooperation with the general public and ability to control the mobs.
However, the program has faced some criticism, Ko Aung Naing Oo, international relations officer of the Human Rights Defence Group, was quoted in the newspaper as saying, “The Myanmar police force reform programs are yet to show any positive results. Yes, the EU has given training. But, just look at the example of the Letpadan student protests. Reformation of the police force must also come from the side of the government as well. The EU is carrying out its activities but no impact has been felt as yet. The discussion groups and trainings will at least have some benefit though.”
Ms. Karin Deckenbach, head of the EU’s media and civil society section, was quoted as saying, “The situation [of the Myanmar police force] in Myanmar cannot be changed in just a couple of years. Changes to the police force require patience. In the next five years we will implement reform programs for the police force on a nationwide scale.”