The second intake of the United Nations Police Officers Course (UNPOC2) ended yesterday at the Peacekeeping Training Centre in Gishari as the region continues to build skills in peacekeeping.
Forty-five police officers from seven African countries took part in the two-week course conducted under the auspice of the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF). The countries are Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Somali, Uganda and Comoros.
The United Nations Police Officers Course is a result of the multilateral cooperation among regional countries.
The Commandant of Police Training School (PTS), Commissioner of Police (CP) Vianney Nshimiyimana, while presiding over the closing of the course, urged participants put the acquired skills to use whenever they are called on duty.
He said the course is designed to ensure the region is safe from conflicts adding that “police officers are there to contain conflicts before they escalate into disasters”
“Rwanda is always open to building peace, a policy that is informed by the darkest past of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis,” CP Nshimiyimana said.
“Any efforts to train officers earmarked for peacekeeping training are received with open hands from Rwanda National Police,” he added.
He thanked the Eastern Africa Standby Force Coordination Mechanism (EASFCOM) for choosing Rwanda to facilitate the training and the Norwegian government for financing the course.
Kari Marie Kjellstad from Norway and special advisor to EASF, said that the training improved the capacity to support peacekeeping activities.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dinah Kyasimire, the head of the Police component at EASF said that EASF targets to train 720 individual police officers from the region.
Police Constable (PC) Rose Wangeci Munyiri from Kenya, who spoke on behalf of trainees, noted that the course left them with enormous skills in peace building and achieving security in the region
“We shall not only be efficient and effective peace support officers but also professional officers in our respective countries” Munyiri said
The course covered a wide range of subjects such as UN⁄AU peace operations, human rights protection, women, peace and security, code of conduct, cultural awareness, stress management, safety awareness, gender and sexual exploitation, hostage survival skills, safety precautions.