By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Kpeshie Ridge
A three weeks course providing middle level military officers, officers from allied security agencies and middle level directors of selected governmental institutions, with the skills and knowledge of operational, coordination and conduct of peace operations, has ended at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC).
The course, which begun on 20th May and ended on Friday 7th June, 2019, also sought to deepen participants’ awareness of international global issues, the changing roles of the armed forces, fostering civil/military relations and enhancing interests in national development.
The intensive course on Peace Operations, was for two weeks, while the third week afforded participants practice – codenamed Combined Joint Africa Exercise (CJAX), and is also a part of the annual one-year Master of Science in Defence and International Politics (MDIP) program for middle level military officers, by GAFCSC.
The international study, a collaboration between GAFCSC and KAIPTC, was sponsored by the German government and had the German Ambassador to Ghana – His Excellency (HE) Christoph Ritzlaff, as the Guest-of-Honour, who delivered the closing remarks.
Ambassador Ritzlaff urged participants to maintain the network amongst themselves, as they have a variety of professional backgrounds and from different countries – for a good network of all actors of peace building and peacekeeping, is key to the success of ensuring peace and stability in Africa, reminding them that they have grown together as a generation of leaders, who are well equipped and in positions to deal with the challenges of any peace operation.
The German government promised to continue with its support for KAIPTC and similar courses, especially in contemporary times, when threats to regional security, originating from the Sahel region, pose great challenge to all, urging all countries affected and the international community, to stand close together, in the fight against insecurity.
HE Ritzlaff also urged the International Community and affected nations, to act fast and decisively to counter security challenges, since the nature of armed conflict is changing, thus peace support has become a multi-dimensional challenge that includes expertise such as humanitarian and relief efforts, stabilization operations, security sector reforms, support to reconstruction and economic recovery, as well as support in the fields of governance and democracy.
Sixty-seven (67) military officers from 13 African nations, comprising of 40 from the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), 27 from Armed Forces from Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia, were joined by over 50 others from allied security institutions, with 30 other observers from various African countries, to participate in the program.
The Peace Operations study, is an exercise agreed upon by members of an association called the Conference of African Commandants of Staff Colleges, which started the exercises in 2007, stopped in 2010 and resumed in the year 2014, hence experts across Africa participate in observing the moves, as GAFCSC returns the favour to some African Staff Colleges.
The Facilitators for the CJAX are former Deputy Force Commander in Rwanda and former Deputy Head of the African Union (AU) UN hybrid Mission in Sudan – Major General (Maj Gen) Anyidoho (rtd), former Deputy Force Commander in Liberia – Maj Gen Carl Mode (rtd), Ambassador Joseph Felli, Gen Kusi (rtd) and experts from KAIPTC.