Consolidating peace and security in post-conflict states remains a strenuous undertaking because in most cases, countries are still grappling with the very issues that led to the conflict in the first place.
The Commandant of the Kofi Annan Peace-Keeping Training Centre (KAITPC), Air Vice Marshall Christian Edem Kobla Dovlo, made the observation when he delivered the opening address of the International Advisory Board Meeting (IAB) of the Training for Peace Programme, an international capacity-building programme funded and coordinated by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Commandant Dovlo said the issues border on bad governance, political and economic marginalisation, fundamental human rights abuses, exclusionary politics, personalisation of power, corruption, lack of orderly succession to power, and excruciating poverty among others.
Air Vice Marshall Dovlo noted that since most post-conflict states in Africa lack the structures needed to address these issues, most of them actually face the risk of relapsing into conflict.
The Training for Peace (TfP)-programme recently entered into a fourth phase that runs from 2011 until 2015. At the last IAB meeting in Oslo, the board and programme partners approved a new “strategic framework” that provides the overall direction to the programme during the period.
Since 2006, the TfP has supported the African Union (AU)’s Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD), with the development of the civilian dimension of the African Standby Force (ASF). TfP is assisting the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with similar support in developing the civilian dimensions of their regional standby systems.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, who was represented by the Chief Director, Ambassador Leslie Christian, noted that contemporary peacekeeping approaches must necessarily shift towards the practicalisation of the conceptual link between security and development.
“This in turn requires multi-dimensional approaches that combine military, police and civilian resources in ways that meet the political, economic, security, human rights, rule of law and criminal justice exigencies prevailing in warring and post-conflict environments.”
If this approach is to be implemented effectively, then the role of civilian and police peacekeepers can no longer be seen as auxiliary to that of their military counterparts, he noted.
“Today, civilian and police personnel are discharging mandates that cut across all aspects of life in post-conflict states.”
Alhaji Mumuni observed that the KAIPTC is one of three training centres of excellence within the ECOWAS sub-region, whose capacity-building support remains critical for the eventual operationilisation of the African Standby Force.
The Minister concluded by noting that although the incidence of armed conflicts in Africa in the past decade assumed a downward trend, the consolidation of peace and security remains problematic for a number of African states.
For that matter, the need for comprehensive and integrated approaches to peacekeeping has necessitated the increased demands for the presence of police and civilian experts in the African Union and the United Nations peace-support operations, he said.
He therefore praised TfP’s unique focus on generating sustainable African civilian and police peacekeeping capacities, saying it remains particularly invaluable.
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