Call to train more peace brokers
Deputy secretary for Policy, Public Relations and International Affairs in Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Defence, Patrick Machaya, said that solving of problems without fighting would enable the region to seriously commit itself to tackling other challenges that include corruption, economic and gender imbalances, poverty, crime and HIV and Aids. He said this at a graduation ceremony for 27 students who underwent a two-week Peace Support course at the Regional Peace Training Centre (RPTC).
“Africa ranks high in terms of internal conflicts and endless civil war and, clearly, efforts have to be made to alleviate human suffering and particularly more so in post-conflict environments with a view to avoiding a relapse,” he said.
“It is, thus, necessary and imperative to continue training practitioners for peace support initiatives.”
The training, however, had financial and material requirements that needed to be met by participating countries. Machaya said the region needs a skilled pool of professional officers to handle the challenge of peace support operations.
“It is my hope that our leaders will continue to make available more resources as well as peacemakers in our region in order to enable them to carry out their duties effectively,” he said.
SADC commitment to peace had been shown by the support and participation of senior army officers in the training offered by RPTC.
Participants in the course, who included key players in civil, military and police operations, came from eight SADC countries of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The course was aimed at training civilians, police and military personnel to perform peace support tasks under the auspices of SADC, the African Union or United Nations. Modules covered included regional and international organisations, role players in peace support operations, conflict resolution and management, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration. The RPTC complex was handed over to SADC by the Zimbabwean government in 2005. ‘ New Ziana.