News / Africa

Police, Civilians Trained for African Standby Force

The African Union has finished a week of training in Ethiopia for members of its new African Standby Force.  The force is due to become active in 2015, though parts of it could be utilized earlier. 

More than 100 police officers and civilians from regional African institutions participated in the African Union Police and Civilian Exercise, called Njiwa, for the past eight days in Addis Ababa. These police officers and civilians are expected to further train their colleagues in their home countries and institutions.

The training focuses on conflict resolution in the fictional African country of Carana.  But there are no simulated shootouts or fighting.

Instead, the participants of Exercise Njiwa develop plans to assist Carana as it goes through an imaginary, violent crisis.

Hossan Eldin Soliman, a police officer with the United Nations Mission in Darfur, says that even though there is no field practice, the training puts them mentally in real-life situations:

"We have many requests from the government of Carana, which is the government of this mission, to assist them," he said. "We discuss this request from the government, we see how it fits with the mission mandate and then we take action in how to assist the government in the many various areas they are requesting us to do so."

The participants are split up in different teams, one focusing on rule of law, another one on the protection of civilians and the last group deals with mission management.

Kamye Arthur, a civilian, is a planning officer from Uganda.  During the exercise, he is part of the rule of law team that develops strategies and interventions.

"The scenario is in such a way that the police in this country, this hypothetical country, does not have the accurate capacity.  So what we are trying to do is we are coming up with interventions which are aimed at capacity building of the police," he said.

Raheemat Momodu, the chief of staff for the Njiwa exercise, says planners tried to create a mission environment, even though the participants are spending most of the days in meeting rooms.

"You still have information coming in, pretending that it’s a real mission with issues, with fighting going on, with criminality going on and all that," she said.

Momodu says she is pleased with the progress that has been made.  She says that Africa is doing well when it comes to military forces, but is still very weak when it comes to integrating the military with police and civilian components.

“The military is able to achieve cessation of violence.  What happens after that," she asked. "The police and the civilians we have to come and to help build that country.  So we need to really continuously build the capacity of the police and the civilians to be able to do [deal with] one of the greatest gaps on the continent, which is coordinate our own post-conflicts construction and development of post-conflict countries, which is a bit lacking now," Momodu said.

The African Standby Force is to set to become deployable by 2015.  However, General Samaila Ilya, the director of the Njiwa exercise, says the force could be active much earlier if needed.

"For example, if we have to go to Mali, in case there is any deployment that the African Union decides to put in place, we can bring some of them from part of the missions headquarters," said Ilya.

The African Union Mission in Somalia is already using several components of the Standby Force at the staff level.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs