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Belgium grants government US $4.5 million for police training

Map of Burundi

Belgium signed a grant agreement on Wednesday providing 4.5 billion Burundian francs (US $4.5 million) to train Burundi's newly constituted national police.

"We want to create a well trained police; a police that serves its people," Francois Cornet d’Elzius, Belgium's ambassador to Burundi, said in Bujumbura following the signing of the accord.

He said training would be for 20,000 policemen over three years.

Burundi's new police force is made up of members of the former gendarmerie as well as combatants from the former army and former rebel groups, including the former rebel Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie - forces pour la defense de la democratie, which is now the main party in government.

The government will provide staff to be trained as trainers.

Belgium signed another grant on Wednesday to give 2.5 billion francs (US $2.5 million) to pay civil servants one month of their salary.

D’Elzius said Belgium, the former colonial power, trusted that the new government had the capacity to manage the funds well.

Belgium recently provided another grant to pay striking teachers demanding payment of their salary arrears.

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