Twenty-four military personnel from Rwanda, Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, and the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) Secretariat have completed the African Union Military Experts on Mission (AUMEOM) Course at the Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA) on September 1.
The three-week course which kicked off on August 14 aimed to prepare and equip military officers with the relevant knowledge and skills, to enable them serve as military observers, military liaison officers and military advisers at any African Union/United Nations peacekeeping mission, particularly in the current African Union operations.
Speaking during the closing ceremony, the Director of the Rwanda Peace Academy, Col (Rtd) Jill Rutaremara, highlighted that military observers play a crucial role in mission areas that are in most cases complex and characterised by accusations and counter-accusations by warring parties to the conflict.
The course was officially closed by the Director of the Rwanda Peace Academy, Col (Rtd) Jill Rutaremara.
“For example,” he continued, “they monitor and verify ceasefire violations as well as human rights violations and abuses. They carry out various investigations and report on routine and special circumstances. Sometimes they resolve local issues between the contending parties.”
Rutaremera said understanding the UN Core Pre-deployment Training Materials (CPDTM) as well as the Standard Training Materials (STM) for UN Military Observers is important.
“This is also why you must understand various UN and AU planning and mandating processes, protection of civilians, especially women and girls,” he said. “Protection of civilians must also go with personal security awareness and protection.”
According to Rutaremara, the accomplishment of the tasks among others in a professional, timely, and accurate manner, requires military experts or military observers to be equipped with relevant knowledge and skills.
The closing ceremony was attended by the representatives of the EASF Planning Element and a team of facilitators from the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF).
“This course was therefore critical not only to the officers who will be deployed as military observers but also to those who may serve as military liaison officers or military advisers,” he added.
Rutaremara further commended the AU and EASF Secretariat as well as the leadership of the Rwandan Ministry of Defence and Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) for their support that culminated in the effective delivery of the course.
“Effective learning cannot be realised without interaction between facilitators and course participants as well as an interface among participants themselves. I would therefore like to thank all the course participants for their contribution in sharing knowledge and experiences,” he added.
They acquire knowledge and skills that will enable them to serve as military observers, military liaison officers and military advisers at any African UnionUnited Nations peacekeeping mission.
The three-week course was organised in partnership between the EASF Secretariat, the AU and the RPA.
The closing ceremony was also attended by the representatives of the EASF Planning Element and a team of facilitators from the RDF.
Some of the 24 military personnel who completed the Course at the Rwanda Peace Academy from 14 August to 1 September