MUSANZE - The United Nations Police Officer Course-UNPOC, designed for officers ready for pre-deployment in peace support missions , opened yesterday at the Rwanda Police Academy-Musanze, with participants from ten African countries, including the Scandinavian trio of Denmark, Sweden and Norway
Rwanda is hosting the pre deployment two-week course for the first time, and has drawn participants from the East African Standby Force Coordination Mechanism (EASFCOM).
The program is funded by Norway under the auspices of the UN.
Speaking at the official opening, Bjorn Hareide, EASFCOM Senior Advisor, requested participants to become human rights ambassadors wherever they are posted and to closely work with police in the areas of their deployment.
“We are training them according to UN standards. We ask them to go and make a difference, as ambassadors of human rights,” Bjorn said
Rwanda has 22 police officers of the 60 drawn from EASFCOM members that include Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda.
Officiating at the opening ceremony, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Stanley Nsabimana, said that capacity building for the police in peace support missions would help in achieving the goal of maintaining peace in troubled areas.
“The Eastern African region requires peace and security for development, and it is in this regard that Rwanda offered to host this course,” he said.