Political Advisor course for Peace Operations in Africa ends this week @ KAIPTC


The complexity of political and security environments in many African regions where missions and operations are launched makes it challenging for heads of missions and operational commanders to thoroughly assess, monitor and analyse the impact and political consequences of their actions.

Also, due to the many different tasks these heads of missions and commanders have to perform, they often cannot be aware of the full spectrum of developments from the strategic and international levels to domestic and regional situations.

All these challenges could have an influence on the success of a mission operation.

Consequently, 23 participants comprising senior civilian (Director Level), police (Superintendent and above), military personnel (Lt. Col. and above) and NGOs began a two-week Political Advisor course for Peace Support Operations in Africa on Monday at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra.

The role of the Political advisor is very critical for providing leadership with proper analyses of developments, trends and emerging issues in the country or region, and for making recommendations on possible policies, strategies and other measures to address issues of concern.

Major-General Francis Ofori, KAIPTC Commandant, in his opening remarks noted that an unprecedented number of peace operations and political missions have been deployed to deal with crises and violent conflict in West Africa and Africa as a whole to maintain or restore peace.

He observed that the vacuum created by the absence of peace enables discord and anarchy to prevail, which results in the stagnation and devastation of societies. It is for this reason, he indicated, that the course was organised to formalise the training of Political advisors for commanders of operations and for Heads of Mission of UN/AU/ECOWAS missions.

Major-General Ofori stated that the course was developed by KAIPTC in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence.

Counsellor Gunther Barnet, Representative from the Austrian Ministry of Defence, traced Austria’s peacekeeping efforts in Africa and noted that Austria’s first military engagement for peacekeeping on the continent was in the Congo during the crisis there in the 1960s.

That experience didn’t end up favourably for the small Austrian contingent – and the country subsequently withdrew from peacekeeping activities until the end of the Cold War with the advent of globalisation before Austria resumed its peacekeeping activities, of which its first was in Chad.

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