The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana, on November 23, officially launched the forth United Nations Police Officers Course (UNPOC) meant to equip the officers with peacekeeping skills.
The two-week course brings together 60 Police officers from eight countries, seven from Africa and Denmark.
The course was organized in partnership with the Eastern African Standby Force (EASF) and the British Peace Support Team (BPST) to train more police officers to support the consolidation of the recently achieved full operational capability of EASF.
The official opening of the course was also graced by the UK High Commissioner to Rwanda, William Gelling.
“Rwanda has been identified as a regional center for training in peace support operations in the EAPCCO region. Although we train all African Police officers and beyond…such a course enables our schools in acquiring more experience in conducting and organizing successful trainings that fit the evolving policing demands,” IGP Gasana said.
IGP Gasana added: “In order to cope with the changing policing environment, RNP spelled out key priorities and training has been put at the forefront as we confront the emerging security threats. Peacekeepers must be well trained to enhance their capabilities in dealing with mission situations in various forms.”
The course participants were drawn from Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda Demark and the host, Rwanda.
The course is aimed at preparing more standby police officers for deployment under the Eastern Africa Standby Force mandated missions as well as consolidating of the recently achieved full operational capability.
IGP Gasana emphasised that Rwanda remains committed to international peace by deploying military, police and civilian components.
“This is a strong commitment Rwanda has made towards peace and security in the world,” he said.
Rwanda, which now maintains peacekeepers in eight missions, is now ranked the fifth major contributor of UN peacekeepers.
The UK High Commissioner to Rwanda, William Gelling, said: “This course goes to show what is possible when police forces from across the region and the world work together, and it also goes to show Rwanda’s growing role as a regional hub for this kind of work.”
He pointed out that the UK believes very firmly in the necessity of peacekeeping, to prevent the world’s most difficult or intractable conflicts from worsening, and to ensure that fragile situations do not become disastrous situations.
“I commend the Rwanda National Police for hosting the course. I congratulate each of the attendees and thank your respective countries and organizations for having nominated you as trainers or trainees to participate in the recent three-day trainers’ workshop and the two weeks of training starting today,” he said.
“Our aim is to ensure that the participants are trained to UN mission specific and mandate requirements, and to enable participants to have greater impact and more successful missions on peacekeeping duties,” Amb. Gelling added.
The course that police officers are undertaking will cover the background of the UN and AU, the dynamics of peacekeeping operations, the expected challenges in the missions and techniques of overcoming them, the skills, knowledge and attitude mandatory for any police officer in a peacekeeping mission among other subjects.
Speaking on behalf of EASF, Finn-Torre Peterson said that the course is one of the last EASF Police activities of 2015 that will make the balance sheet look more accurate.
“The recently achieved full operation capability (FOC) which is the EASF capability to deploy in a conflict situation after a mandate from African Union is still having challenges as regards maintaining and consolidating the demands of the FOC,” said Peterson adding that this particular training is one of the answers to these challenges.
“The demands of FOC range from logistical aspects, internal politics in the affected state, over reliance on external partners and other different legacies that have affected the regional countries since the formation of this EASF as an organization.”
The Eastern Africa Standby Force is a regional organization whose mandate is to enhance peace and security in the Eastern Africa region. It is one of the five regional multidimensional Forces of the African Standby Force (ASF) consisting of Military, Police and Civilian components. EASF was established as a regional mechanism to provide capability for rapid deployment of forces to carry out preventive deployment, rapid intervention, peace support/stability operations and peace enforcement