About fifty high-ranking military and civilian personnel from around the world have arrived in Kigali last monday to attend a UN course for senior leaders set for assignments in multidimensional peacekeeping operations.
Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi opened the week- long course, the second of its kind on the African continent, on Monday May 21 .
The UN Senior Mission Leaders Course (UNSMLC) was conducted by the Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA), in collaboration with the UN Integrated Training Service, and the Government of Australia, according to the Defence and Military Spokesperson.
Rwanda, which maintains thousands of peacekeepers in various parts of the world, would have four participants attending the course, said Brig. Gen. Joseph Nzabamwita.
“It is important that Rwanda is hosting this most senior course because our country is increasingly playing a part in restoring peace around the world,” Brig. Gen. Nzabamwita said.
“By conducting such a high-level course in collaboration with the UN, the RPA gains a great deal of experience,” he added.
Nzabamwita said Rwandan trainees will be two Generals, a senior police officer and a former ambassador.
The UNSMLC, which is designed to help develop candidates for UN mission leadership, was last year hosted in South Africa.
Some United Nations Senior Staff members were also selected to attend the course, according to organisers.
The course prepares candidates for assignments such as special representatives of the UN Secretary General (SRSGs), Force Commanders, Police Commissioners and Directors of Mission Support.
Rwanda, whose son Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba is the Force Commander of the UN-backed peacekeeping mission in Sudan’s Darfur region (Unamid), maintains peacekeepers in Sudan, South Sudan, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Haiti.
It has more than 3200 peacekeepers in Darfur alone, who have won wide recognition and accolades, for both protecting civilian populations and helping transform the socio-economic conditions of local communities.
Meanwhile, a two-week Military Observers Course got underway at the Rwanda Peace Academy-Nyakinama in Musanze District.
“The participants will learn knowledge and skills that will enable them to carry out Military Observers duties,” said Lt. Gen. Nzabamwita, adding that trainees are at the rank of Major or Lieutenant Colonel.
He said the course will attract 36 military observers drawn from the five East African Community (EAC) partner states, Malawi and Australia.
The course, which will end on June 8, will be conducted with the support from the Government of Australia.
The SML course prepares senior personnel for their
future roles and responsibilities as mission leaders in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations, to
include planning, managing and leading UN peacekeeping missions. On completion of the course, par-
ticipants will be competent to lead UN peacekeeping missions. The US conducts this course through its
Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) program.