Regional and local police on peacekeeping course


26-June-2009

Organised by the East African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation and led by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), the workshop is for staff following the United Nations Police Officers’ Course.

Its aims include giving information on all aspects of peacekeeping, giving those taking part the necessary skills to join a peacekeeping team and training regional leaders who can help in other countries if the need arises.

Delegates in a souvenir photograph with guests just after the opening ceremony

Countries taking part include Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, along with guest representatives from the Seychelles Coast Guard and Fire Brigade. 

Officially opening the course, Commissioner of Police Ernest Quatre spoke about a common misconception regarding peacekeeping operations.

“Traditionally, peacekeeping operations were thought to be a military thing only,” he said.

“As time went by, however, the complexities of such operations were exposed, and the involvement of other components like the police and civilians was inevitable, so they were incorporated.

“With dramatic changes in the nature of intra- and inter-state wars and conflicts, which impact directly on civilians, we need to be well equipped and ready to deal with any eventualities, especially in our region.”

Mr Quatre also reminded those present that engaging in peacekeeping is not an easy task, as they have not only to be knowledgeable and skilful on the ground but also to have physical and mental strength, and be able to follow lines of authority, protocol, policies and guidelines. 

One of the course leaders, Xavier Ejoyi – a researcher for peacekeeping training and also a coordinator at the Nairobi office of the ISS – presented Mr Quatre with a copy of a book entitled Global Peace Operation Review.

Over the two weeks, there will be academic classes and fieldwork. Topics to be covered include concepts of peacekeeping, normal police duties, peacekeeping organisations in the region and the world, including the roles of organisations such as the UN and the African Union, safety awareness and human rights. A simulation of a peacekeeping operation will also be held.

The officers present have had to take part and qualify in at least one such previous workshop, the last one being held in Nairobi. The workshop will end on July 5 with the presentation of certificates to the delegates.

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