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RPA trains regional officers in personnel safety during peacekeeping operations

Musanze, 19 March 2019

 Twenty-one military officers from eight Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) member states on Tuesday started a one-week course dubbed “UN Personnel Safety and Security Course”, at the Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA), in Musanze District.

At the opening ceremony, the Director of Rwanda Peace Academy, Col Jill Rutaremara said that once deployed, military, police and civilian peacekeepers face a variety of threats that are both natural and man-made.

Rutaremara further noted that under such absurd situations, much could be done to enhance peacekeepers’ safety and security through threat assessment and minimisation of risks which is the essence of such training.

Maj Gen JB Kazura, the Commandant of Rwanda Defence Force Command and Staff College, said that the aim of the course is to equip participants with the required knowledge to maximize personal security while in UN Peacekeeping missions.

The Commandant of RDF Command and Staff College asserted that the UN personnel deployed in different UN missions work under dangerous and life threatening situations characterised by threats such as armed conflicts, terrorism, crime, civil unrest and an assortment of other forms of natural and man-made hazards. 

“These threats do not only affect the UN personnel but are sometimes also directed against UN premises and assets and this constitutes one of the severe constraints met by UN peacekeepers in implementing their mandate. On that note I urge you participants to take this course seriously,” said Gen JB Kazura.

Throughout the course participants will discuss the challenges and assess the risks in UN deployments and learn how peacekeepers should insure their safety before they protect others.

The Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda, Takayuki Mayashita said; “Rwanda and Japan have been partners in bringing peace to the World through various peacekeeping missions,’’ adding that Rwanda Peace academy has been a long-time partner. 

The course will be attended by military, police and civilian personnel from eight Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) member states, namely: Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Nigeria.