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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid