UNtrained police deploy across warravaged Liberia

The newly graduated cadets will be working in conflict-torn areas out of police stations that had previously been either overgrown with weeds or overtaken by “renegades, exploiters, rogues, hooligans or factional fighters that used the stations to extort money or carry out their war-like activities,” Mark Kroeker, Civilian Police Commissioner of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), told the UN News Service.Dubbing these officers “internally displaced police,” he said a key component of their mandate is to conduct community policing, which involves working with the local population and leaders to foster democratic law enforcement.Mr. Kroeker welcomed donations from the United States and China which have supported the effort so far, but said much more funding – not just unfulfilled pledges – is needed to consolidate gains and achieve progress.”We really need [donations] to help give them the fundamental logistics – pens and pencils, paper and log books,” he said, stressing that a new station requires only the most basic supplies in order to function, but even those are lacking.”They don’t even have proper uniforms,” he added. The police officers wear T-shirts and ID cards to identify themselves. Mr. Kroeker said the situation was “pitiful,” and noted that the recruits have “no weapons and no equipment, just their willingness to go out there and do their job.”UN police officers have used their own money to pay for supplies and clothing, while local communities have also pitched in to help the nascent force. Neighbours, Mr. Kroeker said, are “anxious to have the police come back.””If you want schools to open, businesses to thrive, and institutions to start working, you have to have a secure, stable, peaceful, environment and that comes from establishing the rule of law,” he said.The system, he added, “begins with the police.” read more

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Parents warned about Momo suicide game on YouTube

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Schools are warning parents to keep an eye on what their children are watching on YouTube after an online suicide game reportedly appeared in seemingly innocent videos like Peppa Pig.Teachers used social media to draw attention to the “highly inappropriate” clips showing the creepy character Momo.Originally created by a Japanese special effects company, the character has bulging eyes, a distorted wide mouth and the body of a bird.It encourages youngsters to hand over their mobile number and correspond with Momo, who sets them “challenges” involving self-harm and eventually suicide.Schools have published warnings on social media telling parents about the sinister game and urging them to monitor their children’s internet activity.Momo was reported to have infiltrated the popular video-sharing platform YouTube, appearing in programmes such as children’s cartoon Peppa Pig and clips of the video game Fortnite.The disturbing challenges have been linked to the death of a 12-year-old girl in Argentina. Other worrying stories include a five-year-old girl who hacked off her own hair after being ordered to do so by the sick character. Children who are feeling worried about their activity on apps or online games can contact Childline 24 hours a day, online and over the phone, on 0800 11 11 or by visiting www.childline.org.uk.  Haslingden Primary School in Rossendale, near Blackburn, was among the institutions which put out warnings about Momo.The school wrote on its Facebook page: “We have become increasingly aware of highly inappropriate videos circulating online and are being viewed by children across the school. “These video clips are appearing on many social media sites and YouTube (including Kids YouTube).”One of the videos starts innocently, like the start of a Peppa Pig episode for example, but quickly turn into an altered version with violence and offensive language.”Another video clip is going by the name of ‘MoMo’ which shows a warped white mask which is promoting children to do dangerous tasks without telling their parents.”Examples we have noticed in school include asking the children to turn the gas on or to find and take tablets.”National Online Safety said they had been contacted by hundreds of concerned schools and parents about Momo.The organisation told The Telegraph that their warning about the suicide game – “What parents need to know about Momo”- had been seen by more than two million people.YouTube said it had not received any evidence of the challenge on its site. A YouTube spokeswoman said: “Contrary to press reports, we have not received any evidence of videos showing or promoting the Momo challenge on YouTube.”Content of this kind would be in violation of our policies and removed immediately.”If adults are concerned or have any questions on how to approach the subject with their children you can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or visit the NSPCC website. read more

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