EPSAO Project Supports In-Mission Training of Staff Officers Deployed to ECOWAS Stabilisation Support Mission in Guinea-Bissau
The Staff Officers’ in-mission training for deployed personnel to ECOWAS Stabilisation Support Mission in Guinea-Bissau (SSMGB) has taken off in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. The training is being organized by the ECOWAS Commission in collaboration with Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and GIZ- ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations project (EPSAO), which is co- funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The training which began on the 11th of July ends on the 14th July 2023, aims to build capacities and bring to the doorsteps of mission personnel first-hand insight and understanding of the broader perspectives and frameworks in which they work. This will help the deployed personnel implement the right operational procedures equivalent to their respective roles in the Missions. It is anticipated that the in-mission training will standardize operations, minimize risk, enhance efficiency and compliance with procedures and contribute to the overall success of ECOWAS’ mission in Guinea-Bissau.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Prof. Hamidu Boly highlighted the commitment of the ECOWAS Commission to democratic values and practices within the region. He indicated that democracy remains the only means to win power and this position was reinforced during the recent ECOWAS Heads of State meeting in Guinea-Bissau.
Colonel Christian Dagadu representing the Commandant of KAIPTC acknowledged the good cooperation and collaboration that exists between the ECOWAS Commission, the EU and BMZ that led to the development of the ECOWAS Staff Officers Handbook and the ongoing pilot in-mission training. He stated that the KAIPTC aims to contribute to raising the training standards of the ECOWAS Standby Force and increase its capacities for rapid deployment---thus enabling the ECOWAS Commission to fully utilize this critical instrument for conflict management, if and when it is necessary.
The European Union representative, Pedro Saraiva decried the setbacks to democratic governance illustrated by the recent wave of military coups, along with increasingly complex security challenges that are affecting the right of the people to human security. He highlighted the kinetic force of ECOWAS to fight violent extremism, terrorism and promote good governance. He reiterated the EU’s support for peace and security and solidarity behind the deployment and implementation of Peace Support Operations in the region to prevent and respond to conflicts in the continent through the development of the ECOWAS Standby Force.
Mr. Carsten Wille, The German Embassy Representative in Guinea-Bissau who spoke on behalf of the BMZ, reaffirmed the Federal Republic of Germany’s Government commitment to a secured and sustainable peace and development within the ECOWAS region. He pointed out that strengthening ECOWAS and its Standby Force capacities to manage and prevent violent conflict is a critical objective of the EPSAO project and views this ECOWAS Staff Officers in mission training as a contributor to this objective.
Forty-eight (48) participants drawn from stabilisation Support Mission in Guinea Bissau (SSMGB), local defence and security forces of the host nation including the military and the police are participating in the training.