More than 30 people, including military, police and civilian personnel, yesterday, started a two-week peace support operations logistics course at the Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA) in Musanze District.
The course seeks to build the capacity of participants drawn from seven regional countries to better perform various functions in missions of deployment, according to Methode Ruzindana, the director of research and training at RPA.
While officially opening the course, Brig Gen (rtd) Andrew Rwigamba, the Director General of Foreign and military Relations and Cooperation in the Ministry of Defence, said the course was crucial as military, police and civilians carry out a wide range of functions in peacekeeping.
“In today’s world, deployments for peace support operations range from combat operations through peacekeeping operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” said Rwigamba.
“This course is very important because logistical resources are rarely adequate and yet peace support operations are logistics-driven the world over. The scarcity of resources to support peace operations makes it is imperative to train officers on logistics planning in order to optimise resources,” he stressed.
“Officers in charge of logistics should, therefore, be conversant with logistic concepts and organisations both at headquarters and in the field. They should also be conversant with the doctrine, policies and procedures of peacekeeping logistics.”
Rwigamba hailed the Japanese government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for their continued support to the academy.
Japan and UNDP gave the academy grants of US$537,000 and US$500,000 in grants respectively this year alone to support training.
The two development partners have been supporting RPA since its inception.
Tomio Sakamoto, the counselor at the Embassy of Japan in Rwanda, said peace support operations is a mandate of his government.
He said the government of Japan has been backing peace and social stability of Africa through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development.
Since 2008, Japan has provided more than US $39 million to support 13 PeaceKeeping training centres in Africa, including RPA.
“Japan appreciates the continuous peace efforts and security in the region, including Eastern Africa Standby Force. I am sure RPA will play a vital role in further developing regional and sub regional capacity in conflict prevention, management, resolution and post conflict recovery and peace building,” Sakamoto said.