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Rwanda Peace Academy hosts UN Protection of Civilians Training of Trainers Course

Musanze, 6 May 2019



Twenty-six military and police officers from 13 countries have today started the UN protection of civilians training of trainers course at Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA) in Musanze District.

The officers come from Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Netherlands, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, USA, Zambia and Rwanda that hosts the course.

According to the Director of RPA, Col Jill Rutaremara, the aim of the course is to familiarise peacekeeping trainers with the developed comprehensive protection of civilians course package in order to enable them deliver the same course in their respective countries.

Col Rutaremara says that majority of contemporary armed conflicts are generally intra state in nature involving both state and non state actors. “This explains why the majority of contemporary peace missions have protection of civilians (POC) mandates. Despite the POC mandates, violence against civilians still persists in different forms in various missions, that’s why peace keepers must therefore understand all the legal frameworks including those that mission-specific,” he said.

Dr Martin Koper, the deputy head of mission and development cooperation at Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, while opening the course said that training and capacity building are key tools to improve peace keeping performance and impact.

“We (Rwanda, the US and the Netherlands) work together in providing integrated training in POC for military, police and civilians, better protection of civilians, adequate focus on human rights are not a luxury but a necessity” Dr Koper noted.

One of the participants from Zambia, Col Prosper Mangamu said that he expects to learn more on the protection of civilians especially how to engage with the local women and children who are the most vulnerable.

The one-week course is the outcome of an ongoing collaborative effort between the government of Rwanda, the governments of the Netherlands, the United States of America and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).