The New Times (Kigali)

East Africa: Regional Peace Building Training Targets Civilians

A regional training programme aimed at equipping civilians with adequate knowledge and skills to contribute to peace building missions starts today at Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA) in Musanze District, Northern Province, the academy director, Col Jill Rutaremara said.

Participants from ten African countries under Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) Peace Support Operations (PSO) have arrived in the country to take part in the course that will end on October 26.

The represented countries are: Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Others are Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

The participants are drawn from EASF, governments and civil society organisations.

"The aim of the course is to introduce civilian participants to the methods and concepts of Peace Support Operations in preparation for peacekeeping mission in the region and on the entire African continent," Rutaremara explained.

According to Rutaremara, all teams had arrived apart from Seychelles and Somalia.

The training of civilian personnel is in line with the mission of the RPA, which is to conduct research, develop and deliver internationally recognised professional training courses and educational programmes in order to equip the military, police and civilian personnel with the competences and knowledge required to meet Africa's present and future complex peace and security challenges.

The Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) is a constituent organisation of the African Standby Force (ASF), which falls under the African Union.

The establishment of the organisation in 2004 followed the ratification of the AU Peace and Security Protocol by the 1st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Durban, 9 July 2002.

The objective of the Eastern Africa Standby Force is to carry out in a timely manner the functions of maintenance of peace and security as mandated by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union in accordance with the Constitutive Act of the African Union.

The minister of East African Affairs, Monique Mukaruliza, will preside over the opening ceremony.

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