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ECOWAS Launches Pilot Course on POC in Peace Support Operations

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Group Picture
Group Picture

On May 20, 2024, the ECOWAS Commission inaugurated the Pilot Course on Protection of Civilians in Peace Support Operations at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra, Ghana.

This significant capacity-building initiative, funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), aimed to equip participants from ECOWAS Member States with essential knowledge and skills for implementing the Protection of Civilians (POC) mandate in peace support operations.

Twenty-two participants, potentially slated for rapid deployment in Peace Support Operations, convened for the course. The curriculum focused on instilling foundational understanding and competencies in executing the POC mandate within ECOWAS Peace Support Operations (PSOs). Moreover, it aimed to enhance awareness of multidimensional field operations, fostering collaboration among various components to develop and implement effective strategies for civilian protection in ECOWAS missions.

During the opening ceremony, Air Commodore David Anetey Akrong, Deputy Commandant of KAIPTC, emphasized the course’s significance in advancing the Centre’s strategic objectives of becoming the premier Training Centre of Excellence for regional peace and security training.

In her address, Ms. Sivine Jansen, Deputy Ambassador of the Embassy of Germany in Ghana, underscored the critical importance of POC, particularly for vulnerable populations, in conflict settings. She highlighted Germany’s commitment to supporting regional peacebuilding efforts, citing the course as a testament to this commitment.

Ambassador Irchad Razaaly, the European Union Ambassador to Ghana, outlined the objectives of the training, emphasizing its focus on fundamental POC concepts, roles of various protection actors, legal frameworks, and practical implementation strategies. He expressed optimism that participants would emerge equipped to translate theoretical frameworks into effective actions on the ground.

Presidium
Presidium

Dr. Adamu Sani, Head of ECOWAS Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD), reiterated the centrality of civilian protection in ECOWAS peace interventions and expressed gratitude to KAIPTC for their support in enhancing the operational readiness of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) through training.

The course, a collaborative effort between ECOWAS and KAIPTC, was facilitated by financial support from the EU and BMZ, through the GIZ-ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations (EPSAO) Project. It exemplified the commitment of regional and international stakeholders to fostering peace and security in West Africa through capacity-building initiatives.

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