Twenty-four military, police and civilian personnel yesterday began a two-week course at Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA), with an aim to strengthen cooperation for effective Peace Support Operations.
Dubbed "Stabilisation and Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) Practitioners' Course", the exercise that started Tuesday brings together officers from Rwanda and Uganda and it is taking place at the academy's campus in Musanze District.
According to a statement from RPA, the course seeks to advance participants' knowledge and understanding of the conduct of CIMIC operations to support stabilisation activity, in African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) Peace Support Operations (PSO).
While opening the course, the RPA Director, Col. Jill Rutaremara said the composition of participants is in line with the doctrine of Integrated Approach to training and operations, as well as Joint Multinational operations that underpin the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF)'s approach to the conduct of operations.
"I am also fairly happy to note that 29% of the course participants are females," said Rutaremara.
He told the participants that majority of violent conflicts particularly on the African continent are characterised by crises in which life is either lost or severely threatened.
"Such situations call for immediate and early stabilization operations in order to save or support life. Early stabilization in Peace Support Operations is a prerequisite for achieving a desired political end-state and consequently sustainable peace," he said.
Stabilisation, however, cannot be attained without civil military cooperation, he said.
Adding; "Although military operations are crucial for early stabilisation, military tasks alone are not sufficient. Coordination and cooperation between the military and civil actors including the national population, local authorities, international and non-governmental organisations and agencies in support of the mission is very crucial."
This, he added, is because such cooperation enhances civil-military liaison and support to the civil actors as well as the military force itself.
The course is organized though a partnership between the RPA and the British Peace Support Team (Africa).