The Ministry of the Armed Forces of Senegal and the Ministry of Defense and Sports of Austria, with the support of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), organized, from 28 November to 02 December 2016, a training on “Cross-cutting issues in peace operations”.
The objective of the training was to strengthen the capabilities of military and civilian experts in the design, implementation and evaluation of peace support operations (PSO) as well as in collective security.
Forces involved in peacekeeping operations are now exposed to new terrorist threats and are also coping with particularly acute humanitarian crises.
“The Forces of Peace are now deployed in theaters of asymmetric conflicts, with protagonists increasingly hostile to their presence,” said Vice-Admiral Cheikh Bara Cissoko, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Senegal, during the opening ceremony.
For her part, the Austrian Ambassador to Senegal, Caroline Gudenus, stressed that this training “is of great importance, not only for all countries in the region, but also for countries involved in peacekeeping missions in general “.
Indeed, “with the strengthening of international humanitarian law and the increasing demands on the peacekeepers, they are constantly being criticized by the international community and the people in the conflict zones”.
Representing the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), the Director of Political Affairs, Moudjib Djinadou, recalled the heavy burden on the United Nations to do more and better, to ensure the protection of civilians, to prevent attacks on innocent population, and to assist in the construction of state institutions guaranteeing lasting peace.
During the training, presentations and discussions focused on the concepts, strategies and actors of Peace Support Operations (PSOs). Participants learned about the main pillars of PSOs, including their general principles and legal framework; the protection of civilians, children, refugees and displaced persons; Humanitarian Aid and Security Sector Reform (SSR) / Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR). Other cross-cutting issues such as gender, human rights, the role of civil society and the impact of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons were discussed.
Some 30 military and civilian experts from Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana and Burkina Faso and European partner countries participated in the training.Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).