Musanze, 20 October 2017
Senior military, police and civilian officials from African Continent who graduated on 20 October 2017, from a two weeks course on Genocide, mass atrocity crimes and transitional justice in Peace Support Operation, have commended Rwanda’s recovery and reconciliation after the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. Participants say they gained experience that should help for their future peacekeeping operations. They especially hailed Rwandan Government and people over reconciliation efforts and unity after the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
Mr Michael S. Kargbo from Sierra Leone Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “I have learnt how to identify early signs of Genocide and mass atrocities and quickly bring it to the eyes of relevant authorities to make necessary decisions. I have also learnt how reconciliation can work. Rwanda is a clear example of how people can come together despite all atrocities that happened”. He also said the course enhanced his knowledge on how the Military, Police and Civilian components need to work together in Peace Support Operation and how they need to put protection of civilians at the centre of their mission.
Senior Superintendent Evelyn Njeri Mbugua from Kenyan Police said that Rwanda is a very good example of reflexion on how conflicts begin and how Genocide can occur. “Rwanda is a good example for other countries to learn how forgiveness and reconciliation are possible, how victims and perpetrators of Genocide can live together in a peaceful society for the betterment of the nation”, she said. She underlined the role of inclusiveness of military, police and civilian components to restore peace in conflict areas.
Col J K Mukasa receiving his certificate from Ms Gemma Thompson from UK High Commission to Rwanda
Col J K Mukasa from Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) said “the course was an eye opener for most of us to know what means war crimes and crimes against humanity and why they are different from the Genocide”. He said he should take lessons learnt from the course to apply them on field where he may be deployed to support peace.
The course was closed by the Director of Rwanda Peace Academy Col Jill Rutaremara together with the Acting Deputy UK High Commissioner to Rwanda, Ms Gemma Thompson. They both were pleasant of continued close co-operation between the UK Government, British Peace Support Team East Africa and the Rwanda Peace Academy.
Ms Gemma Thompson said the UK is committed to supporting the BPST-EA and their relationship with the Rwandan Peace Academy and to continue working with its African friends to develop the capacity of the peace support personnel from African continent.
The two weeks course was organized by Rwanda Peace Academy in partnership with the British Peace Support Team, Eastern Africa (BPST-EA). It was attended by 24 senior military, police and civilian officials from 7 African countries; Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Rwanda.