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Kyrgyzstan Plans 'Police' Name Change

Kyrgyz police officers speak to a child in the southern city of Osh.
Kyrgyzstan is planning to become the latest former Soviet republic to rename its "militsia" as "police," as part of reforms to the force, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Parliament deputy Ravshan Jeenbekov, who is one of the co-chairmen of the parliamentary working group working on the draft concept, told RFE/RL on November 7 that it is two thirds complete.

Jeenbekov said the concept's major provisions are replacing the Soviet-era term "militsia" with "police;" improving the training provided to law enforcement officers; and a complete reform of the traffic police to improve road safety.

He said the reforms are needed to make law enforcement meet modern challenges and standards.

Russia in March renamed its police force "police" instead of the Soviet-era "militsia," as part of a reform aimed at tackling corruption and abuse of power in its ranks.

In April, Tajik Interior Minister Abdurahim Qahhorov said Tajikistan would ditch the name "militsia" in favor of "police" as the current term implies a nonprofessional, voluntary force.

Kazakhstan introduced a similar name change several years ago.

Read more in Kyrgyz here