As security in African is a never ending discussion which requires pragmatic steps given the reality of human right abuses when conflicts erupt, the Deputy Head of Mission at German Embassy in Ghana, Mr. Hans-Helge Sander has urged participants to share ideas which will ensure the prevention of violence in conflict and post-conflict situations for sustainable peace on the continent.
According to him, in circumstances of conflict and post-conflict situations, most National Authorities often lose their capacity, resource, expertise and political will necessary to ensure human rights protection.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of this year’s Human Rights in Multidimensional Peace Support Mission Course at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Mr. Sander said “This is the sixth Human Rights Course in Multidimensional Peace Support Mission Course at the KAIPTC. This course was developed based on a need expressed by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme which was highlighted in a meeting at the centre in 2013.”
He added that the African Union has indicated the high demand for human rights experts in peace support missions in the African region as well as the need for qualified human rights at a recently held ‘Training Needs Assessment’ conducted by KAIPTC and GIZ.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, unfortunately violations of human rights are happening every day in different forms whether it’s the use of force by security forces to stop peaceful protests as seen over the last couple of weeks, the forceful jailing of opposition members among many others. Often, these violations are a result of collapsed public infrastructure, functioning government institutions and the rule of law.” he recalled.
Mr. Sander also revealed that Human Right Experts and observers are called upon to help fill the vacuum as evident in the consistent inclusion of robust mandates in the UN and other regional Peace Support Operatives by the African Union (AU).
“In 2016, 11 out of 22 participants trained in this course were deployed to AU in Burundi as Human Rights Observers. Which is truly a great impact in this course.” he recounted.
Commandant at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Air Vice Marshal Griffiths S. Evans in his welcome address revealed that the aim of the course is to equip human right officers with the necessary knowledge, skills and technical competencies needed to support human rights in Peace Operations in Africa.
“Considering the UN special report on exploitation by its troops in Africa, the need for trained human right practitioners cannot be overemphasized.” he added.
Air Vice Marshal Griffiths S. Evans however mentioned that the course which is based on operational modules will equip participants with information on the legal framework for human rights protection mandates, documenting and reporting on violations and the best strategies for protecting the vulnerable.
“In January 2019, the KAIPTC launched its new five year Strategic Plan and the new approach for the implementation of the plan is demand-driven, which means we proactively engage with the stakeholders and clients to collect feedbacks as well as insights to make our courses then programmes relevant to the needs.”
He charged the participants to find each module useful and inspiring since a team of experienced facilitators will provide theoretical foundations of the UN, AU as well as practical ways of operationalizing these skills on the field.