Kurdish Zerevani and Arab Policemen Graduate Training and Break Down Barriers
|Camp Dublin, Baghdad – Graduation ceremony for the 11th Police course. From left: MG Giuseppe Spinelli, Deputy Commander NTM-I; Lt Gen. Michael Barbero, Commander NTM-I; Iraqi Interior Minister Jewad Bolani; Staff Lt Gen. Hussein Al-Awadi, Commander Iraqi Federal Police (Photo credit: Carabinieri, NTM-I.)
BAGHDAD 11th December 2009 –Dozens of Kurdish Zerevani policemen stood alongside hundreds of their Iraqi Arab counterparts as they graduated Dec. 11 from an intensive nine-week police training course here that built on their skills and broke down cultural barriers.
The class represents the first time that Arabs and Kurds have participated in joint Federal Police training conducted by the Italian Carabinieri as part of the NATO Training Mission-Iraq, NTM-I. "When we first came here we didn't think they would treat us as well as they did,” said Iraqi Lt. Mustafa Hajar, a Kurd. "Now I'm ready to work with our Arab brothers, especially in the areas of mutual interest.” Hajar noted that he felt like the 40 Kurdish officers were accepted as comrades by the Arab students in the class who numbered more than 800.
The specialized course, designed to provide further training for the Iraqi Federal Police (IFP), concentrated on operational planning, police procedures, police intelligence, counter-insurgency skills, weapons, combat skills, first aid and basic logistics. The course focused special attention on police ethics and human rights. "These men have trained side-by-side, and in doing so, they have formed a bond and a trust with each other. These relationships represent what is possible here on a larger scale, which will form the bedrock of a stable and secure Iraq,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, commander of NTM-I.
Iraqi Minister of the Interior, Jewad Al-Bolani spoke to the assembled graduates and trainers. He stressed the importance of the security force's role in rebuilding a democratic and safe Iraq and promised to prosecute and expose the terrorists whose aim is to destroy the government and the civil institutions. Maj. Gen. Giuseppe Spinelli, NTM-I deputy commander, praised the Iraqi policemen for their willingness and enthusiasm to learn new skills and techniques. Commander of the Carabinieri, Italian Col. Luciano Zubani, praised the interest and dedication shown by the graduates. He addressed the importance of the coordinated training and having Arab and Kurd officers working together. "This training and this graduation fully embody the spirit of our mission,” Zubani said. "We are taking important steps toward building a united nation without cultural or sectarian barriers.”