Colonel Joyce Sitienei awards certificate of qualification to Ms Dorica Kafunya.
The second course on Protection of Civilians (POC) held at the International Peace Support Training Center (IPSTC), Karen, and funded by Denmark ended on Friday 14 July 2017 after a two-week training with 25 participants.
Speaking during the closing ceremony, Head of Plans and Programs Colonel Joyce Sitienei said that currently, there are ten peace keeping operations with a POC mandate, a role previously bestowed upon the host nation.
Colonel Sitienei said that attacks on hospitals, removal of medicine from convoys, rape, abductions, slavery among other atrocities promote suffering among civilians hence the need for protection. She noted that of the 65million people displaced globally as a result of conflict two-thirds of them are women and children, projecting them a vulnerable group to be protected.
She called on the need to address root causes of conflict by promoting the rule of law through enhancement of mediation capacity and applying a holistic approach towards alleviation of suffering.
The head of plans and programs said that failure to protect civilians not only leads to loss of life but also undermines the credibility of the mission. “All actors should embrace coordination, communication, consensus and cooperation. As alumni of IPSTC, you are expected to contribute towards ensuring peace stability in Africa.” She said.
Head of Training at the Peace and Conflict Studies School (PSCC) Lieutenant Colonel Jens Jakobsen said that actors in a mission with a chapter VII mandate have a task to protect civilians and urged the graduands to be open minded and cooperate with all players for the success any peace keeping operation.
The course, targeted selected individuals from the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF), East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS), Southern African Development Community (SADC), Government Ministries, Non Governmental Organisations as well as personnel from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The course, opened on 03 July 2017 by the PCSS Head of Training and Education Lieutenant Colonel E Omollo, comprised of participants from the military, police, corrections department and civilian components from eleven (11) countries namely; Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Sudan, Uganda and Zambia.
Ghanaian Brigadier General Dan Frimpong (Rtd), currently the Chief Executive Officer at African Peace Support Trainers Association (APSTA), who interacted with the participants during the course shared a wealth of knowledge on various missions that he has served in.
The course’s lead facilitator Ms Florence Oduor and Directing Staff Ms Catherine Cherotich subjected the participants through rigorous scenario based exercises that made the course interesting and practical. A visit to the Humanitarian Peace Support School (HPSS) for a demonstration on POC summed up the course with a near reality of what happens in a conflict environment and the role of different peace keeping operation actors in protecting civilians.
Present during the ceremony was PCSS Chief Instructor Lieutenant Colonel Keitany.
Course participants tackling syndicate assignment.
Head of Plans and Programs Colonel Joyce Sitienei awards certificate of qualification to 1st Lieutenant Mareng Deng of South Sudan.
Head of Plans and Programs Colonel Joyce Sitienei awards certificate of qualification to Warrant Officer Class One Michael Ngachra of Kenya.
Head of Training at the Peace and Conflict Studies School Lieutenant Colonel Jens Jakobsen (Denmark) address partipants.
Head of Plans and Programs Colonel Joyce Sitienei addressing the course participants during the ceremony.
Mr Chet Hoareau of Seychelles presents a plaque to Head of Plans and Programs Colonel Joyce Sitienei during the ceremony.
DSP Sheilla Buckman of Ghana gives a vote of thanks on behalf of students during the ceremony.
Head of Plans and Programs Colonel Joyce Sitienei, course facilitators and graduands in a group photo.