Forty-five Police officers from five Eastern Africa Standby Force member states and Denmark, on June 6 started a 10-day African Union Police Pre-deployment course at Police Training School (PTS) Gishari in Rwamagana District.
The course aims at equipping officers with concepts, skills and core values of peacekeeping.
While officially opening the course, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Operations, Dan Munyuza said: “This course transforms professional police officers into competent peacekeepers; therefore, participants should be extra inquisitive in exploring the knowledge that will be imparted to them.”
“Officers earmarked for peacekeeping operations in African Union must be well trained to enable them manage any challenges they may encounter in mission areas,” he added.
He noted that Rwanda National Police prioritized training because it believes continuous trainings produce significant results in terms of operational performance.
“RNP has put training on top of the of its priorities list to address most of the challenges related to policing. We always believe that, without effective training of police officers, we cannot achieve the required performance capabilities and we cannot manage to use minimum resources in addressing emerging challenges,” he said.
Of recent, he noted, conflict management and resolution has greatly considered the impact of peacekeeping as means to maximize use of available scarce resources and mitigate conflicts on the continent.
He noted that such training will help to address emerging security challenge on the continent such as human trafficking and genda based violence which have taken trend in most conflict-ridden countries.
Such crimes, he said, thrive in insecure, chaotic and conflict zones and challenged participants to be catalysts in combating them.
“At the end of this course, you are expected to be competent in areas where you will be deployed, to address all hindrances of peace building in Africa,” DIGP Munyuza told course attendants.
The course was organized in partnership with EASF and Germany International Cooperation (GIZ).
Participating countries are Comoros, Denmark, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and Rwanda the host.
It will cover aspects of AU and EASF common systems and how to address policing challenges in peacekeeping missions including the emerging asymmetric threats.
ACP Kahsay Gebre Weldeslasie, the head of Police Component at EASF, said that “EASF is cognizant of the best practices from Rwanda that have impacted on regional officers positively towards their professional journey.”
He singled out combating gender based violence as one of the areas where Rwanda National Police has excelled in peacekeeping.
“Our regional officers have been attending these activities and indeed they have been a value addition to their professionalism,” Weldeslasie said.
Silke Hampson from GIZ noted that “development is not about building roads but also peace and security to enable people live a prosperous life.”
The African Union Police Pre-deployment course is the first of its kind that is aligned with peacekeeping missions operating in Africa under the auspice of the African Union.
Similar United Nations trainings have previously been held in Rwanda.