MUSANZE - Rwanda Peace Academy yesterday began a documentation process of the lessons drawn from Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF)’s peacekeeping missions.
40 RDF military observers, contingent commanders and staff officers as well as 10 Police Officers who have been involved in peace support operations at strategic and implementation levels are meeting at Nyakinama, Musanze District.
While opening the five-day documentation workshop, the Minister of Defence, James Kabarebe, said the RDF has gained a wealth of experiences which can be applied in conflict prevention.
“After seven years of involvement (in peace support missions), time has now come to take stock of that experience.
“Our collective accomplishment to date reflects Rwanda’s deeply held values, our commitment to peacekeeping, prevent conflicts and effectively deal with post-conflict challenges,” Kabarebe said
Rwanda currently has 3,500 peace keeping personnel in various missions.
Part of what will be discussed during the workshop is the role of the UN and its agencies in PSO, human rights, humanitarian aspects, and sustainable post conflict recovery.
Lt Gen. Isaac Obiakor Chikidabia, a board member of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research – UNITAR, will participate in the documentation workshop.
Rwanda’s peacekeeping operations started in 2004 with the deployment of 155 military personnel as part of African Mission in Sudan (AMIS), followed by 255 troops in UNMIS.
“Rwanda is a unique example of how a country, having emerged from Genocide, can negotiate a peaceful transition based on its own conflict resolution techniques and its own vision of meaningful and enduring development,’’ Kabarebe said.
Rwanda police officers are currently involved in the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMAL), UN Operations in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI), UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), and UN Mission in Central African Republic in Chad (MINRCAT)
The Director of the Rwanda Peace Academy, Col. Innocent Kabandana, said that the participants will hear from current and former commanders who will offer strategic perspectives.
He said that the outcome will be documented in a report that will be available for the public and posted on the academy’s website.