A total of 24 Military, Police and civilian personnel are undergoing a five-day course on protection of civilians.
The course, that opened on Monday at Rwanda Peace Academy, Musanze District is aimed at familiarising participants with specialised training on protection of civilians at the tactical level, according to Col Jill Rutaremara, the director of Rwanda Peace Academy.
The course is funded by the Rwanda Peace Academy in partnership with the Integrated Training Service (ITS) of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
Opening the course, Brig. Gen. Charles Karamba, the commandant of Rwanda Defence Force and Staff College, said there is need to protect civilian rights which are often trampled upon in most countries.
“Civilians have increasingly become victims of armed conflict. Unfortunately some states are either unwilling or unable to protect them,” said Karamba.
He added that protection of civilians requires active participation of the military, police and civilians themselves.
He noted that despite the United Nations and African Union adoption strategies aimed at enhancing protection of civilians during armed conflicts, there were still challenges as exemplified by current peace support missions in Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, among others.
“Despite the enormous presence and robustness of Monusco, for example, the FDLR continues to kill and rape innocent (Congolese) civilians. This and other similar challenges should form the core of your discussions,” he said.
He expressed optimism that the training will be successful given the quality of trainers.
Lt. Col. Richard Zabot, the head of facilitators from the Integrated Training Services, said the course will combine theory and practice.
He added that it was imperative for military, police and civilians to acquire such training to ensure that civilians are fully protected especially during conflict and war periods.