The United Nations Individual Police Officers (IPO) Course ended on Friday at the Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA) in Musanze District. The course attended by 25 Rwanda National Police (RNP) officers, started on 21 October, 2019, and was organized by Rwanda Peace Academy in partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
All the trainees are UN SAAT cleared and will be deployed in various UN peacekeeping missions. SAAT stands for Selection Assistance and Assessment Team, which conducts tests for UN police officers. The course, the first of its kind, conducted at RPA, aimed at preparing and equipping officers with relevant knowledge and skills that will enable them to perform requisite police tasks once deployed to UN missions as IPOs.
IPOs act as trainers and mentors in UN missions.
While closing the course, Major Marcel Mbabazi, the head of training at RPA, said that the objective of the course has been attained.
“The course aimed at enhancing your knowledge and technical skills, it has improved your ability to plan and deliver your contribution to building and mentoring local police personnel in the various missions where you will be deployed. I am confident that the knowledge and skills that you gained will enable you to effectively execute your duties as Individual Police Officers,” Major Mbabazi said.
He added that although IPOs are supposed to serve in peacekeeping missions with consent from the warring parties, the acquired skills are also needed in the contemporary complex, fluid and unpredictable operational environment.
Major Mbabazi commended RNP for the efforts to train its personnel and urged the trainees to maintain the spirit of discipline as key to peacekeeping, and put the acquired skills to good use.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Maurice Kayigana, who spoke on behalf of participants, lauded Rwanda Peace Academy for the valuable skills and knowledge given to them.
“For the last three weeks, we were privileged to have a deep understanding of UN, peacekeeping and roles of IPOs, it will help us to fulfill our duties,” CIP Kayigana.
Inspector of Police (IP) Fred Nsengiyumva, another participant, said that they understood the UN principles, core values and how generally it works.
“We have been learning so many new things; how the UN operates, respect for diversity, how other police institutions work, and professional conduct,” IP Nsengiyumva said.
IP Marie-Chantal Murerwa, another participant, said she learned how to deal with different cultures and how to help and assist vulnerable groups.
Among other subjects covered there is introduction to UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs), fundamental principles of PKOs, core values and competencies for UN peacekeeping operations, driving skills and weapon handling, conflict analysis, mentoring and advising, as well as negotiation and mediation techniques.