Twenty-six people, among them military, police and civilian personnel, yesterday began a two-week peace support operations logistics course at the Rwanda Peace Academy in Musanze District.
The participants were drawn from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, the African Union Peace Support Operations Division and the Southern African Development Community Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre.
According to officials from the academy, the course seeks to enhance participants’ knowledge and understanding of the role and conduct of logistics as part of broader Integrated United Nations or African Union processes on peace support operations.
While officially opening the course, Maj. Marcel Mbabazi, the Head of Training at the Rwanda Peace Academy, said the course was crucial as military, police and civilians carry out a wide range of functions in peacekeeping, which need to be harmonised for missions to bear positive fruits.
“The complex nature of the contemporary operating environment requires the employment of the capabilities not only of the military but also those of the police and civilian components. Effective integration and complementarity of the three components can only be achieved if the components are trained and exercised together,” said Mbabazi.
He stressed that: “This course is very important because it will enhance your knowledge in designing and developing logistical plans as well as the understanding other logistical issues such as acquisition, storage, distribution, maintenance, evacuation, disposition of materiel in the mission, and the general sustenance of peacekeepers.”
Mbabazi noted that the scarcity of resources to support peace support operations makes it imperative to train staff officers on logistics planning and management in order to use the available resources in the most effective and efficient manner.
“Optimal use of resources can only be achieved if logistical officers are conversant with logistics concepts and organization at all mission levels, the logistical officers should understand very clearly the doctrine, policies, and procedures of peacekeeping logistics as well as the financial and budgetary policies that relate to logistics,” he said.
Participants at the peace support operations logistics course said they are optimistic to learn more so that they will make their respective countries proud while in peace keeping
“I expect to learn more about logistics because I am in the procurement sector; coordination, teamwork, and how we can work together with procurement and logistics are among other aspects I am looking forward to mastering from this course,” Pamela Ankunda, the Procurement Officer at the Ministry of Defence and Internal Affairs in Uganda, told The New Times
The peace support operations logistics course was funded by the Government of the United Kingdom through the British Peace Support Team, Africa (BPST-A).
The Deputy Chief of Staff at the BPST-A – who is also the Course Facilitator – Maj. James Rix, hailed Rwanda Peace Academy for its ongoing support to the United Kingdom through a series of trainings on peacekeeping mission that they jointly offer to African peacekeepers.
“The Rwanda Peace Academy is a key centre of excellence for us,” he observed.
Maj. Rix said that United Kingdom and BPST-A looks forward to sponsoring more training events at Rwanda Peace Academy in 2019 and beyond in a bid to help build regional capacity and increase security and stability across Eastern Africa.