Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) has said it recognizes the role of deploying Civilian staff in peace keeping support operations in countries facing conflicts in Africa.
The remarks were made Friday by Malawi’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Annie Kumwenda close a two week Civilian foundation Course for peace support operations at SADC Regional Training Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe.
She said SADC member states were aware of the center’s impact on promotion of regional peace and security, observing, the founders of the organization fought for independence.
Kumwenda explained that now peace is paramount to social and economic development of the region.
The Ambassador pointed out that the training was in line with the African Stand by Force (ASF) Policy frame within the African Union peace support operations, which stipulates that personnel should be equipped with the required skills in to perform their expected functions when deployed in missions.
“Modern peace keeping missions needs more civilians that are core to addressing the social needs of multidimensional peace keeping operations that also include the military and the police,” she observed.
Kumwenda described the training of the 26 participants that included experts from seven countries namely: Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, Lesotho, Botswana, South Africa and Malawi as crucial in achieving the Africa Union agenda ‘African solution for African problems,’ where Africa should be able to solve its own problems.
Commandant at SADC Regional Peace Keeping Centre, Brigadier, Bongani Jonas expressed the hope that the training has made some milestones where the number of trained rostered civilian personnel had increased ready to serve Africa.
He said the civilians would work hand in hand with their counter part from the armed forces and the police to achieve the peace support operations mandate if deployed.
Among the expertise areas of the participants were lawyers, journalists, engineers, administrators, medicine doctors, procurement, gender, banking and finance among others which forms the civilian component of the peace keeping mission from both government and Civil, Society organizations.
A total of eight Malawian civilian experts attended the course drawn from Ministry of Gender, Children Disability and Social Welfare, Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Ministry of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Ministry of Information and Civil Society Organizations.