AFRICA: More Women Needed in Peacekeeping Missions

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
All Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

The Senior Police Advisor to the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASFCOM), Torbjorn Sande, has called on regional countries to emulate Rwanda by deploying more women in peacekeeping and conflict resolution missions.

He made the call while opening a two-week long peacekeeping course organised by the United Nations and EASFCOM at Gishari Police Training School in Rwamagana district.

The course attracted over sixty police officers from Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Ethiopia, Comoros, Seychelles and Rwanda.

Sande noted that the training would equip officers with requisite skills to train other police forces in the region.

"The course will make the trained officers important players in future peacekeeping missions and help maintain peace in the world," he said.

Sande hailed Rwanda for embracing the UN Security Council resolution 1325/2000 which is aimed at protecting women and girls during and after armed conflicts, and to fully involve women in conflict prevention, management and resolution and peace building.

"I am happy that the issue of gender is handled properly in is important we deploy women and girls in conflict and peace resolution as stipulated in the UNSC resolution," he said.

The resolution calls upon all countries to allow increased representation for women at all levels.

The UN seeks to increase the participation of women at decision making levels in conflict resolution and peace process; appoint more women as Special Representatives and envoys; and expand their role in peacekeeping operations, particularly among military observers, police, human rights and humanitarian personnel.

Rwanda has the highest number of female police personnel in UN peace missions in South Sudan, Haiti, Darfur and Liberia.

Official figures from the peace keeping unit at the Rwanda National Police indicate that of the 490 police personnel on deployment, 150 are female.

The Commissioner General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana, reiterated the importance of the course.

"Rwanda is the major contributor of female peace keeping support in the world. The country is engaged in seven police missions globally...this is what modern day police means," he said.