21 Sep 2020

Border closures delay return of Samoan peacekeepers

9:21 pm on 21 September 2020

Covid-19 enforced border closures have delayed the return of Samoan Police Officers on United Nations Peacekeeping missions in Africa.

Police commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil said Samoan personnel were stationed across the continent and had now had their postings extended.

Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil

Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil Photo: RNZ Pacific / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

"Generally, the mission is for one year and it takes a lot of qualifications and testing to get selected for an officer to go to these things but it's only for one year."

He said Samoa had an allotment of 25 officers who could be deployed to Africa - with some police officers there now.

Officers waiting to take up their postings in Samoa had also been delayed because of the travel restrictions.

The Commissioner says the monthly reports he's been receiving indicate that the officers miss their families but have kept their spirits high by communicating online.

"Naturally they miss home. Some of them want to come home and some of them are okay,'' he added