Some 23 officers drawn from nine Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) member countries have started taking a 12-day-long Formed Police Unit Commanders Course for Peace Support Operations (PSO) in Addis Ababa today.
The ten-member EASF with military, police, and civilian components is mandated to enhance peace and security in the East Africa region.
Some 23 officers drawn from Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, and Uganda are attending the course until August 18, 2023, at the Ethiopian Police University in Sendafa in the outskirt of Addis Ababa.
EASF was established as a regional mechanism to provide capability for the rapid deployment of forces to carry out preventive deployment, rapid intervention, peace support/stability operations, and peace enforcement.
EASF Police Component Head, Commissioner Ali Said Bacar stated that the course is intended to enhance the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of the participants on the roles, tasks, structure, equipment, and tactics of Formed Police Unit, including support, for effective participation and performance in a multidimensional peace Support.
"It has become common practice in Africa that the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) are now the first responders to conflict and other crisis situations in the region. The need to adequately prepare the required police and other capabilities cannot be overemphasized.”
Stating that the formed police units are a critical police capability in the crisis phase of PSO, the head said: "They play key roles in protecting civilians and mission staff and providing operational support to host nation police and other security forces. They are the operational backbone of Police Components in PSO.”
Ethiopian Police University President, Deputy Commissioner Mesfin Abebe expressed his gratitude to the EASF Management for selecting the Ethiopian Police University to host the course and for the continued cooperation with Ethiopia.
He pointed out that the African continent has sadly witnessed a number of conflicts and calamities, which are a manifestation of the need to have a robust peace and security mechanism to prevent and resolve conflicts in this region.
“In this regard, Ethiopia is committed to bringing all regional police officers to transfer their skills, knowledge and to share their experience. It is that time we can enhance our cooperation and develop a culture of working together to keep the peace and development of the region.”
He expressed belief that the combined experiences of the participants from the region will go a long way in ensuring that the course objectives are met and exceeded.
The course is expected to help the participants conversant with the AU/EASF mission structures and functions in Peace Support Operations (PSOs) as well as understanding the challenges in the PSOs environment and eventually become competent peacekeepers, according to Mesfin.
To achieve these objectives, the Ethiopian police university and its management are ready to provide proper service during your stay at the university, he added.
Source: Ethiopian News Agency