East Africa: Regional Peacekeeping Course Ends at Police Training School

12 October 2019

The Deputy Inspector of Police (DIGP) in charge of Operations, Felix Namuhoranye, on Friday, presided over the closing of the 9th UN Police Course (UNPOC) at the Police Training School (PTS) Gishari with a call for "continuous preparations" to build peacekeeping capabilities for regional police officers.

The two-week course brought together 60 participants from nine Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) member states.

Namuhoranye said that the Eastern Africa region is committed to contributing personnel to peacekeeping missions.

"This commitment focuses at maintaining peace worldwide, enhancing the professionalism and capability to offset security challenges both in the region and beyond in addressing contemporary policing issues," DIGP Namuhoranye said.

He said that capacity building in general and training in particular is one of the seven key priorities identified by Rwanda National Police (RNP) on its path to professionalism and modernization.

He thanked sister Police forces from the region that availed their officers to participate in the course and reassured that "we stand ready to join hands for the good of our nations."

The course, which covered both theoretical and practical aspects, was in line with the EASF mission to maintain and sustain a fully operational and multidimensional integrated standby force ready for peace support operations in the EASF, AU and UN missions.

EASF Joint Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Charles Rudakubana said that such trainings will continue to prepare more Police, military and civilians for any deployments when need arises.

The 9th UNPOC at PTS, and the second to be conducted this year, is also one of the three EASF related courses meant for Police, military and civilians.

The Commandant of PTS, Commissioner of Police Vianney Nshimiyimana said the course package is important for the effectiveness of the EASF and UN mandates.

"The peacekeeping duties, which you are meant to undertake, will be meaningless if not anchored on core values like respect for human rights, professional conduct, integrity, quality service and accountability," Nshimiyimana said.

The EASF is one of the five regional multidimensional forces, which are part of the African Standby Force established by the AU in a bid to find 'African solutions to African problems' especially in relation to peace and security.

"The core business of the UN, its peacekeeping functions, protection of civilians, respect for diversity, safety and security not forgetting map reading and navigation exercises, among others, were relevant in preparing us for the tasks ahead," Loita said.

Their visit to Kigali Memorial Centre Gisozi, he said, was an important part of the course to understand the failures and requirements of every peacekeeper to protect civilians.

Assistant Inspector of Police (AIP) Natalie Ingabire from Rwanda, said: "The way you talk and help mothers, girls, children and civilians in general forms the core part of peacekeeping and this course prepared us for such tasks."

During the two weeks, participants covered a spectrum of peace and security activities, principles and legal framework of UN peacekeeping, multidimensional settings in peace support operations, protection of civilians and human rights.

They also looked at communication, land navigation, mentorship, fighting and preventing sexual exploitation and abuse in peace support operations, stress management and First Aid, among others.

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