A Training of Trainers (ToT) course on African Union peacekeeping and support operations opened at the Police Training School (PTS) Gishari, yesterday, bringing together 25 police officers from Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda.
The month-long Formed Police Unit (FPU) ToT course is organised by the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF), a regional body mandated to enhance peace and security in Eastern Africa.
Speaking at the opening of the course, the commandant of PTS, Vianney Nshimiyimana, said Rwanda National Police (RNP) prioritised training, among others, as an efficient tool to address the evolving policing challenges.
“We believe that without effective training of our officers, we can’t achieve best performance, and we can hardly manage to use the resources available at our disposal. This course supplements these efforts at the national and regional levels,” he said.
“Peace support operations cannot be achieved by a sole country; EASF member countries need to share experiences; and this togetherness is our strength as the region,” Nshimiyimana added.
The training, he said, will improve the capacity of the police forces, and is vital in preparation of competent Formed Police Unit contingents. He called for “extra seriousness to be competent trainers.”
The head of the Police Component at EASF, Dinah Kyasimire, said AU and EASF found it necessary to organise the training of trainers for member states that pledged FPUs to EASF.
Out of 10 EASF member states, only five pledged FPU contingents, namely; Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Ethiopia.
Comoros, Djibouti, Seychelles, Somalia and Sudan complete the list of EASF member countries.
The standby force consists of military, police and civilian components and mechanism to provide capability for rapid deployment of forces to carry out preventive deployment, rapid intervention, peace support and peace enforcement.
The new peace support curriculum was developed by AU for its five regional mechanisms and regional economic communities to harmonise their positions in FPU training.
“It is designed to deepen understanding of the roles and functions of FPUs in peacekeeping and support. Participants will facilitate similar trainings in their home countries to prepare FPU contingents for future deployments,” Kyasimire said.
“This training will cover a wide range of peacekeeping subjects that are meant to refine the skills of future trainers,” she said.