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Policing Territories Previously Subject to Civil War and Ethnic Violence

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is concerned with measures to reform or create indigenous police forces after internal conflicts. In a civil war, the police force normally either collapses and disperses or takes one side in the conflict. In many ethnic conflicts, the police force itself will have been involved in widespread abuse of human rights, further alienating minority communities. For all these reasons, most recent settlements following complex ethnic and religious disputes place great stress on the constitution and make-up of the police forces, because the negotiators know that such forces' future behaviour will quite largely determine relations between the communities. In many cases, international organizations have played a constructive role by monitoring and improving the quality and the skills of these forces, helping to establish police academies and seconding officers from other police forces to work with the reconstituted police.

Keywords: civil war; ethnic conflicts; human rights; indigenous police forces; international organizations; minority communities; policing territories; religious disputes



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