A four-week African Union (AU) peacekeeping course of 25 Police officers from Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda, ended yesterday at the Police Training School Gishari in Rwamagana District.
The Formed Police Unit (FPU) Training of Trainers course was organised by the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF), a regional body mandated to enhance peace and security in Eastern Africa.
The Commandant of PTS, Commissioner of Police (CP) Vianney Nshimiyimana, underscored the importance of the course in preparing and enhancing professionalism of officers prior to their deployment to bring about peace in other countries.
“We need to synergise all our efforts towards achieving the mandate of EASF and the security and peace of our continent in general, and that’s a duty you have been given to extend these skills to others,” CP Nshimiyimana said.
He noted that the Eastern Africa region was particularly committed to contributing personnel to peacekeeping missions, adding that “this commitment has gone a long way in shaping the peace process around the world.
While pledging Rwanda National Police’s commitment to share skills in varied policing and peacekeeping disciplines, he also urged countries to incorporate FPU training in their training curricula.
The course was designed to turn the participants into certified trainers on roles and functions of FPUs in peacekeeping and support.
The AU standards of the course set a pass-mark. Only those who passed and put in the database are certified as training facilitators, either in their respective countries or to undertake similar training duty in other countries to prepare FPU contingents for future deployments.
The course covered concepts of multidimensional integrated peace support operations; specific AU training issues; safety and security in peace support operations; public order management; police tactics and techniques as well as logistics and administration issues, among others.
One of the course participants, Commander Essefa Tegenu, from Ethiopia, who spoke on behalf of all trainees, recommended the increase of participants, narrowing the gender ratio of participants, and to extend the period of the course.
“This course had an objective of harmonising and standardising training package for the AU Formed Police Units operating as African Standby Forces and other African led Peace Support Operations. This objective has been achieved and EASF member states will be our testimony for the trainings we shall deliver for those who never had a chance of attending this course,” said Tegenu.
Present was also Francis Rogers Sengoire, the head of Training and Evaluation at EASF, who noted that the course was possible because of the excellent relationship between EASF and AU.
Out of 10 EASF member states, only five pledged FPU contingents, namely; Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Ethiopia.
The standby force is a regional body of ten member states. Other member states include Comoros, Djibouti, Seychelles, Somalia and Sudan.
EASF 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.