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Due to the increasing rate of political instability and security challenges in the ECOWAS Region, the ECOWAS Commission in collaboration with the National Defence College (NDC) and the GIZ ECOWAS Peace Support Architecture Programme (EPSAO) is organizing a 5-day intensive course on policing sustainable peace.

The course which commenced on the 8th of May and will end on the 12th of May 2023 is themed, Policing Sustainable Peace: The Role of Police and Gendarmerie Officers in the Management of Peace Support Operations (PSO).

It is tailored towards training police and gendarmerie personnel who could be deployed to work on PSO-related matters. The Course is expected to build their capacity to plan and manage PSOs within the ECOWAS Region. Furthermore, it will assist in building the capacity of the police component in contemporary PSOs in West Africa at the strategic level. The overall objective of the Course is to train the Police and Gendarmerie officers from ECOWAS member states on PSO, thereby building their strategic level capacity for deployment to ECOWAS missions and for the ESF.

In her welcome remarks, Madam Julie Gwangmwa Sanda, the Acting Provost, Centre for Strategic Research and Studies (CSRS), National Defence College (NDC) reiterated that the police play an integral role in peace security operations globally, continentally and regionally and are a vital part of the policy, planning and mission management structures of ECOWAS at all levels. She also expressed her heartfelt gratitude to all institutional partners, most especially the ECOWAS and the implementing partner GIZ for their continual support in providing the necessary funding for the delivery of this important Course.

Speaking during the event, Ms Leïla Ben Amor Mathieu, (Head of Human Development, EU Delegation) who represented Ambassador Samuela Isopi (Head of EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS) congratulated the NDC and ECOWAS for organising this timely course.

“The European Union lauds the efforts of the ECOWAS Commission and the National Defense College in holding this training on sustainable policing, which comes at the right time. The training aims, at ensuring that the police/gendarmerie and civilians who actively contribute to peace support operations across the ECOWAS member states are readily equipped with the necessary tools for their evolving roles in contemporary peace support operations,” she stated.

In his remarks, the Commandant of the National Defence College, Rear Admiral MM Bashir expressed his delight in the conduct of the training as this will go a long way in enhancing police capacity for deployment not only to regional PSOs but also globally. He encouraged the participants to make use of the conducive learning environment the NDC has offered.

While declaring open the training, the ECOWAS Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace & Security. Amb. Abdel-Fatau Musah, PhD, noted that classical peacekeeping operations were becoming obsolete due to the eccentric nature of the conflict environment in the region.

“In the Central Sahel region, terrorism and violent extremism have become the order of the day. So, in whatever we do, our counter-terrorism operations can only work through stabilising our communities, which entails bringing back the state-provided services and making sure that populations have freedom from physical harm and fear. These are the fundamentals of the UN charter and that is also the basis of the sustainable development goals that we are talking about today.”

Commissioner Musah commended the Nigerian Government and the Multinational Joint Taskforce in the Lake Chad Basin for degrading branches of various terrorist groups down to the level where they only resort to banditry. He commended the organisers of the course and wished them a productive session.

This event was organised with the financial support of the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through the GIZ-ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations (EPSAO) programme.


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