India, United States to train African officers in peacekeeping

By: | Published: July 25, 2016 1:54 PM

The training course, patterned along a 'training of trainers' (ToT) model, is meant to expose military commanders to typical operational, logistic and humanitarian roles they are required to perform while participating in UN/AU peace operations.

us-india-relation-l-reutersThe holding of the first UNPCAP takes place in the backdrop of PM Modi’s commitment to the Peacekeeping Summit in New York last September as well as his commitment to the African leaders during the third India-Africa Forum Summit last October. (Reuters)

As many as 39 officers from nine countries of the African continent have confirmed their participation in the first ever peacekeeping training
between India and US to be inaugurated next week.

As part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to the African leaders during the third India-Africa Forum Summit last October, the Centre for UN Peacekeeping (CUNPK), New Delhi, in collaboration with the US government’s GPOI (Global Peace Operations Initiative) programme, will be organising the first ‘United Nations Peacekeeping Course for African Partners’ (UNPCAP) from July 25 to August 12 at the Indian Army’s Manekshaw Centre.

According to MEA officials, the programme, to be inaugurated by minister of state for external affairs MJ Akbar, will be presided over by the vice chief of Army staff, who is the chairman of the Board of CUNPK, and will have mid-level military officers from Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Malawi, Zambia, Sierra Leone and the African Union (AU).

The training course, patterned along a ‘training of trainers’ (ToT) model, is meant to expose military commanders to typical operational, logistic and humanitarian roles they are required to perform while participating in UN/AU peace operations.

It is designed for the mid-level military officials from the African nations, which are active “troop contributing countries” to both UN and African Union peace operations. They would also be exposed to operational aspects of all modern peacekeeping missions including protection of civilians, women and children in conflict zones, and countering of sexual violence.

The holding of the first UNPCAP takes place in the backdrop of PM Modi’s commitment to the Peacekeeping Summit in New York last September as well as his commitment to the African leaders during the third India-Africa Forum Summit last October.

The UNPCAP also marks the operationalization of one of the elements of the India-US joint statement of January 2015, where the leaders of both countries had committed to “accelerate their peacekeeping capacity building efforts in third countries”.

Established in September 2000 under the aegis of the United Service Institution of India in New Delhi, with the support of the MEA, the CUNPK serves as the platform through which India is able to share its vast experience in UN peacekeeping operations that have a history of more than 50 years. It also aspires to become the main peacekeeping training hub in Asia. It regularly conducts 3 basic courses for military officers from both India and other troop contributing countries.

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