ACCORD/TfP contributes to discussions aimed at shaping peace operations in Africa
29 Sep 2015
As part of its engagement in supporting the continued review of peace operations in Africa, the Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (ACCORD/TfP) participated in the 1st Annual Peacekeeping in Africa Conference – a forum to discuss the challenges facing peace and security operations on the continent. The conference was organised by the Johannesburg-based Intelligence Transfer Centre (ITC), and ran 28 – 29 July 2015 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand. In attendance were representatives from the Defence Decision Support Institute, the Kofi Anan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, and the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A South African military analyst and a Defence, Intelligence and Peacekeeping expert from Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Military Studies were also present. The topics discussed during the conference cut across relevant peacekeeping skills areas, and the deliberation will help to boost and shape the effectiveness of peace operations. Topics of discussion included: the need for continuous training, clarity of mandates, stepping up peace operations' tactics and approaches to counter threats posed by armed groups, financing of Quick Impact Projects, increased partnership and coordination, effective intelligence sharing, and the need for a considerable increase in civilian capacities. ACCORD/TfP presented on ''Joint Training for Civilian and Military'', which interrogated the rationale for civilian and military personnel training together, and the impact of this integrated training. The discussion was structured in such a way that it would contribute to ongoing debates aimed at improving civil-military relations and coordination in African peace operations. The conference presented vital recommendations on how to improve peace operations across the African continent, with particular focus on how peacekeepers are expected to respond to threats posed by non-state armed groups. This initiative is in line with the TfP Programme's strategic goal for improved and sustainable capacity development for peace operations throughout Africa. This is to be achieved by ensuring that functioning organisational systems are in place in the UN, AU and the various Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) using relevant policy frameworks mandated by these bodies. Therefore, the outcome of the conference will prove beneficial to the UN, AU, RECs/RMs and member states by encouraging them to review their current policies and training approaches to strengthening capacities to respond to challenges facing peace operations in Africa.