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RDF trained to prevent use of child soldiers

Musanze, 29 October 2018

Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA), in collaboration with the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative have launched a Training of Trainers aiming at combating recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts. 

The Training of Trainers that started this Tuesday targets the RDF personnel particularly the potential peacekeepers on pre-deployment training. It is being attended by 13 RDF officers drawn from 47 RDF officers who attended the “Prevention of Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers Basic Course”.  The course is the second of its kind to be conducted at the RPA. 

While officiating at the opening ceremony of the course on behalf of the RDF Leadership, the RPA Director, Col Jill Rutaremara underlined the relevance of the training. 

“The content of the course aside, you should pay special attention to the training methodology because you will be dealing with adults some of whom may even be older than you. So, you must take this course very seriously,” Col Jill Rutaremara urged the trainees.

The objective of the course is to familiarise participants with a better understanding of the concept of child soldiering, analyse the reasons behind the use of children in armed conflicts, while at the same time equipping them with the right training methodology.  

“By engaging security sector actors, who are often the first point of contact with child soldiers on mission, we can create a comprehensive international response that enables us to take a preventive approach to the issue of children used as weapons of war,” said Jennifer McNeil, the training manager at the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.

The Rwanda Defence Force and the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning a training partnership on combating the recruitment and use of child soldiers in May 2016.