By Amin Kef (Ranger)
The indefatigable Executive Secretary of the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC), commonly known as the Peace Commission, Hawa Sally Samai, was among the beneficiaries of the top notched IPSTC 27th Regional Senior Mission Leaders’ (RSML) Course, after her nomination, that took place in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa, from the 1st May, 2023 to the 12th May, 2023 drawing participants from three continents comprising 23 uniformed personnel and 4 civilians. The beneficiaries were individuals who are serving or will be serving in senior level positions within a peace mission.
The official opening of the course, on the 1st May, 2023, was done by LT General J M Mwangi, CBS, (USA), Vice Chief of Defence Forces and the official closing ceremony done by Brig Ronnie Westerman, the United Kingdom Defence Attaché to Kenya on Friday, 12 May 2023.
One of the objectives of the course programme was to enhance participants’ knowledge and skills of strategic mission leadership and their roles and responsibilities to successfully implement a mission mandate.
It was also geared towards equipping participants with requisite tools and skills for conflict analysis and management to facilitate the resolution of conflict in Peace Support Operations (PSOs).
The course also contributed in enhancing the participants’ knowledge of contemporary Peace Support Operations as a foundation for a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of senior mission leaders.
It also equipped beneficiaries with relevant knowledge and skills on Integrated Assessment and Planning (AP) for effective planning and mandate implementation.
The knowledge of international and regional legal and normative frameworks to lawfully fulfill the Peace Support Operations mission’s mandate was also part of the course programme.
In addition, the course programme enhanced the participants’ understanding of mission partners, their roles and synergies in a PSO context.
It finally helped to contribute to the participants’ understanding of the importance and primacy of the Protection of Civilians (POC) through a comprehensive and integrated approach in Peace Support Operations.
The Peace Support Training Centre (PSTC) was established in January, 2001as part of the Kenyan Defence Staff College. It mainly focused at training of Kenyan forces for UN peacekeeping missions and later African Union Peace Support Operations. PSTC became a separate Kenyan MOSD establishment in July 2006 and 2008, initial efforts towards internationalization were made. In 2009, PSTC Karen merged with International Mine Action Training Centre (IMATC) to form one centre, International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC). The former PSTC was renamed to Peace and Conflict Studies School (PCSS) and IMATC renamed to Humanitarian Peace Support School (HPSS). In 2011, IPSTC achieved autonomy through formal partnership arrangements with USA, UK, Canada, Japan, Kenya, Germany and UNDP.
The vision of the IPSTC is to become the premier Peace Support Training, Research and Education Centre in Africa and its mission is to conduct training, education and research, informing military, police and civilian personnel in all aspects of peace support operations in order to improve the effectiveness of the response to complex emergencies.
The core values of the IPSTC are Excellence, Professionalism, Trust, Integrity, Accountability and Gender Equality.
In a snap chat with the Executive Secretary of the Peace Commission, Hawa Sally Samai, she intimated that the course programme was truly interesting and informative. She disclosed how she learnt very important concepts which she believes will be useful in the discharge of her mandate more especially at this crucial moment when the multi-tier elections are just around the corner, a period when conflict situations could arise.
According to her listening to the wisdom shared by an eminent speaker, Tom Tugendhat, was the best moment of the course duration.