State funding bikes for Ugandan police
IRISH taxpayers are to buy 200 mountain bikes for the Ugandan police as part of a scheme that will cost around €350,000.
The request for applications to provide the bikes comes weeks after Budget plans to close 31 garda stations.
The purchase is part of a joint initiative involving the gardai, PSNI, and the Ugandan police, while the funding via Irish Aid comes from the Department of Foreign Affairs budget.
The gardai put out a tender for the bikes because of their expertise in the area, a garda spokesman said.
The department said support for justice was a priority area for Ireland's aid efforts in Uganda and included the provision of materials.
"The main focus of Irish support is in the area of community policing and strengthening the management capacity of the Ugandan Police Force (UPF)," it added.
Gardai are providing technical expertise in the African country, the statement said.
In 2010, garda trainers conducted a "train the trainer" course for 400 Ugandan police.
The UPF has recently come under fire from human rights monitors for extra-judicial killings, torture and suppression of protests.