Helping to Enhance Africa's Peace-Keeping Capacity
A new Ethiopian International Peace-keeping Training Centre (EIPKTC) to be set up in Addis Ababa is intended to become a regional and international centre of excellence in peace-keeping, peace-building and conflict resolution.
The Federal Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Ministry of Economic Development and Economic Affairs (MoFED) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have now signed an agreement for a one-year programme that supports the establishment of the EEIPKTC.
The Government of Japan is providing financial support for the establishment of the centre, through the Japan-UNDP Partnership Fund in New York. Japan’s support rests on commitments for continued support to Africa’s efforts on conflict prevention and resolution during made at the at fifth TICAD meeting held in Yokohama in June 2013.
Japanese Ambassador to Ethiopia H.E. Hiroyuki Kishino appreciated the ‘leadership shown and efforts made by Africa to make the continent peaceful and stable’.
Ethiopia is a leading contributor to peace-keeping operations in Africa and has engaged with several African Union Commission and United Nations peace-keeping missions in the continent, hence making Ethiopia a key player in enhancing both regional and continental security.
Ethiopia has so far contributed around 7000 peacekeepers for UN and AU peace-keeping mission in Africa and is also a leading female peace-keepers contributor with 375 women peacekeepers deployed so far, noted H.E. Major General Hassan Ibrahim, Head of the Ethiopian International Peacekeeping Training Centre.
Trainings offered at the centre will address gaps identified within both peace operations of the AUC and the UN, as some of the training offered will build skills on conflict analysis/applied research methodology, improve multi-national and multi-dimensional peace-keeping operations of civilian personnel, and also enhance regional standby capacity of civilian experts for peacekeeping missions and peace-building. Moreover, the EIPKTC will also contribute to AUC’s efforts to take the lead in deploying peace-keeping s missions when situations demand across Africa.
According to H.E. Mr. Ahmed Shide, State Minister at the MoFED, the centre will ‘support the creation of an African Community Practice on peace keeping training that will benefit the AU and the UN’. The centre will help build the capacities of relevant Ethiopian and other IGAD Member State security institutions, the East African Standby Force, the African Union Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD), United Nations Department of Peace Keeping Operations (UNDPKO), United Nations Peace-building Support Office (UNPBSO) and the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (UNDPA).
Many countries in Africa continue to endure a plight of intra-state conflict driven by a number of underlying factors and as a continental organization, the African Union Commission (AUC) bears a mandate to ensure that peace is restored, and that the established peace is maintained. In line with this, the AUC deploys peace-keeping missions across the continent, but in the midst of challenges including: lack of capacity to sustain missions on a long-term basis, planning hindrances, inability to adapt to new and evolving trends political will.
To address this issue, the AUC has created the African Standby Force (ASF), also recognizing the importance of training future peace operations professionals in order to conduct thorough conflict analysis, apply civilian and vulnerable populations protection while on mission and also carry-out proper disarmament, demobilization and security sector reforms.
UNDP’s support stems from its commitment to assisting countries reach development goals through the facilitation of enabling environments, well-functioning organizations and a well-performing human resource base. The EIPKTC will significantly supplement on-going UNDP efforts to strengthen capacities that ensure the maintenance of both sub- regional and continental peace and security.