UN Peace Support Operations (PSO) officers have appealed to African countries to learn from Rwanda’s tragic history to understand the essence of peace building.
Twenty four military officers, police and civilian officers undergoing PSO Logistics Course today visited Kigali Genocide memorial site for an orientation on the 1994 genocide against Tutsi which claimed a million lives.
“Rwanda’s history of genocide is reminder to us, especially in my country Uganda that peace should not be taken for granted,” said Maj. Stephen Malinga of Uganda People Defense Forces (UPDF).
Like Malinga, Maj. James Rurangirwa of Rwanda Defense Forces also said that reliving Genocide experience in Rwanda is a chance to reinforce self-sacrifice to champion peace efforts across the globe.
“Looking at where Rwanda came from and the achievements, I realize that it is important to continue the sacrifice to have and export peace to other countries based on your own history,” Rurangirwa.
The trainees from Uganda, Somalia, Tanzania and Rwanda, are undergoing training at Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA) in Musanze district, which kicked off on November 27th and set to end on December 8th.
The course seeks to enhance participants’ knowledge and understanding of the role and conduct of logistics, as part of broader Integrated UN/AU processes on PSO.
Deputy Chief of Staff, British Peace Support Team, Eastern Africa, Maj. James Rix and Lt. Col. Py Chausi, UPDF led the PSO trainees to lay wreaths and salute to over 250,000 genocide victims laid to rest at the site.
The team also made individual donations to the memorial site to support the AEGIS trust.
The trainees will next week take on practical measures of implementing best practices and enforcement logistics support during peace operations especially on equipment, mechanical and medical support.
“We are moving into a planning exercise where the trainees will be split in syndicates and given a scenario and will plan for the logistics around that scene,” said Capt. Joe Harris, one of the three British army trainers.
One of the beneficiaries, Janet Komurangwa, a medic at Rwanda military hospital, served as a police advisor in two peace missions in Darfur (2009 and 2015) says the training will improve skills in future missions.
“There is no limitation when assigned during a mission. With such skills I will be more prepared for any responsibilities in logistics support,” Komurangwa said.
Since November 2010, Rwanda Peace Academy has conducted 71 courses and a total of 2002 personnel – including 1071 military, 250 Police, 643 civilian and 36 Prisons officers- of which 544 were females.