By ANA NAISORO
Twenty police officers will depart our shores for another mission this coming Monday (11/11/13).
The contingent will be deployed to the United Nations Mission in Darfur following a lapse of more than a year. The Fiji Police has been part of UNAMID since 2008 when the first 12 officers were deployed.
This morning the contingent led by Superintendent Ananth Narayan presented their i-tatau to the Acting Commissioner of Police and his senior officers at Police headquarters.
In farewelling the contingent the Acting Commissioner of Police Ravi Narayan reminded his officers of the need to stay true to their roles as police officers.
“Service to the people whether it is in Fiji or whichever part of the world is our key obligation and role”.
“That is the sole reason as to why you have been specifically chosen to be part of this contingent and you must fly flag of the nation and the organization with pride through the work you’ll conduct in Dafur”.
The Acting Commissioner who has also served in Darfur said there are many challenging factors they will encounter which are significantly different from what they are used to here in Fiji.
“When we served in 2008 the situation was different and 5 years down the line things would have changed and you must be prepared mentally, physically and spiritually for the work ahead”.
The 20 man contingent will be headed by Superintendent Ananth Narayan someone who is no stranger to serving on overseas missions having served in three missions since 1993.
However the humble father of four admits having the responsibility as contingent commander will prove to be a challenge.
“Some of these officers have never been to a mission and it is my role and responsibility to guide them when we are out there”.
“It won’t be easy but I am grateful to the Acting Commissioner of Police for having faith in my ability to lead such a large contingent and we will do our utmost best to continue the proud reputation set by our predecessors”.
Meanwhile while some officers would have had prior experience having served on other missions, the same can’t be said for 27 year old Constable Ashneel Singh.
Having served 8 years in the Force he is what his senior comrades like to refer to as the rookie of missions. Constable Prashneel who currently serves at the Nasinu Police Station says it will be hard to leave his young family, however he is ready for the challenge.
“The only way to succeed is by moving forward and I have had to make some tough decisions leaving my wife and mother behind, however I believe that this is for the best”.
He went on to say that age was not a barrier having proved himself by qualifying the required tests.
“When we first sat for the relevant tests facilitated by the United Nations there were thousands of us, but that didn’t deter me because I knew that if I had the capabilities then it would reflect in my results which I passed and here I am today preparing to leave for a mission”.
The last contingent deployed for the UNAMID mission was in 2010 and returned on the month of April, 2012.
The contingent flies out on Monday (11/11/13).