Sunday, March 9, 2008

Indian women provide security for Africa’s first woman President

MARCH 8: Here is a bit of information to spread cheer on International Women’s Day.

The President of Liberia is a woman, and her personal bodyguards are women from India.

Located in north Africa, Liberia, "land of the free," was founded by black slaves freed in the United States in 1820. An initial group of 86 immigrants, who came to be called Americo-Liberians, established a settlement in Christopolis (which was later renamed Monrovia, after US President James Monroe) on February 6, 1820.

In the elections held in October 2005, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Union Party was elected President. She is Africa’s first elected woman president.

Security personnel drawn from 23 member-states of the United Nations, including India, are keeping the peace in Liberia which had witnessed ethnic violence in recent times. The personal security of the President is the responsibility of Indians.

An all-woman force from India, which was in charge of the President’s security, returned home last month on completion of its tour of duty. Its place was taken by another contingent of 125 women from the Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), led by Commandant Rakhi Sahi.

“We have a defined task of providing security to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, high profile officials and guests,” Rahi told Indo-Asian News Service in New Delhi before leaving for Liberia.” We would also be doing law and order management apart from providing training to police officials in the country.”

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