UN staff officers course opens in Musanze

A two-week regional United Nations Staff Officers' course opened Monday at the Rwanda Peace Academy in Musanze District with views to preparing participants at planning level for assignment in key functions in UN peacekeeping operations. The course drew participants from six regional countries.

A two-week regional United Nations Staff Officers’ course opened Monday at the Rwanda Peace Academy in Musanze District with views to preparing participants at planning level for assignment in key functions in UN peacekeeping operations. The course drew participants from six regional countries.

It will provide United Nations department of peacekeeping operations (UNDPKO) training standards to ensure a common military approach to work, mainly at the force and sector levels in UN peacekeeping missions, according to Col. Jill Rutaremara, the director of Rwanda Peace Academy.

Officially opening the course, Brig. Gen. Charles Karamba, the commandant of Rwanda Defence Command and Forces College, said while the officers had in the past assignments served as UN peacekeepers, there was need to keep polishing on their leadership skills.

“There is always need to continue polishing on staff’s leadership skills, character, intellect and industry,” he said.

He emphasised that military staff officers play a crucial role in mission planning at different levels, especially at operational and tactical levels.

“They are assigned various functions in peacekeeping operations at force, sector and national contingency headquarters. The military officers deployed to UN peacekeeping missions are usually militarily trained,” he added.

He said, however, that in some cases such staff lack the required knowledge and skills necessary for the effective performance of staff duties and ensuring coherence in the implementation of the UN mandate.

He pointed out that the course will enable participants to perform their military tasks effectively and professionally in an integrated manner.

“In order to improve their performance, staff officers needed training that can orientate them to the United Nations approach to peacekeeping operations and enhance their performance standards in the execution of their staff duties,” said Brig. Gen. Karamba.

He asked facilitators to involve participants fully in the learning process and make them use the experience they acquired in previous peacekeeping missions.

The training was organised by Rwanda Peace Academy and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (Unitar)

Participants came from Djibouti, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda.

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