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14.02.2005 General News

African states meet on Civil/Military cooperation

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Accra, Feb. 14, GNA - A course to build the capacity of 34 specialists in civil-military coordination to foster effective peace operations in North and West Africa opened in Accra on Monday. The five-day course would train the participants drawn from the Military, Police and civil society to understand broad principles and guidelines that would facilitate the interface between humanitarian and development agenda in post-conflicts countries.

The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) is hosting the running the course in collaboration with the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) and the Peace Support Training Centre for East Africa.

Addressing participants at the opening ceremony, Brigadier-General Charles Mankatah, Commandant of KAIPTC, noted that the importance of Civil Military Coordination (CIMIC) had been ignored in Africa despite its significance in peacekeeping missions.

As a result, he said: "The new Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) now recognises that civil-military coordination is vital for achieving humanitarian and development objectives." Brig. Gen. Mankatah said the quest now was to increase Africa's capacity to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts including the quality and quantity of its peacekeepers.

He expressed satisfaction at achievements so far made in Ghana to break the civil-military jinx saying: "Now I think the relationship has improved tremendously. We are now very open to the public, which can be seen in our open day activities."

Brig. Gen Mankatah said, having participated in the first workshop in Kenya last December, Ghana could now boast of one specialist in the CIMIC.

Funded by the government of Finland, the training programme would take place in three countries. The next one would be held in South Africa.

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