Kabiru Ibrahim discusses the nature of the relationship between the Sierra Leonean Police and the United Nations Police, and the policing reforms that they were jointly pursuing. Most of the reforms involve a high degree of training and capacity building. The best and most cost-effective training method for a country like Sierra Leone, Ibrahim asserts, is to provide training for a small number of officers and equip them with the skills to train the rest of the Sierra Leonean Police. As the U.N. Police elections adviser in the country, he identifies the major challenges that reformers face, including limited resources, weak discipline within the Sierra Leonean Police, and the division and distrust that exists between the unarmed general duty police and the armed operational support division. Ibrahim also discusses issues surrounding investigation and crime management, specifically the tendency of police officers to bring a large number of cases to trial, but failing to follow through on the cases. He concludes by maintaining that the reform efforts were succeeding slowly and that more resources would have increased effectiveness.
At the time of this interview, Kabiru Ibrahim was the United Nations Police elections adviser at the United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone. A Nigerian, he attended Nigerian Military School before deciding to shift his focus and join the police service. He began working with the international police force in 2000, and was deployed as a U.N. police officer to Kosovo and Burundi before his deployment to Sierra Leone in 2007.