SADC training centre revamps curricula to meet peace support challenges

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Two workshops over two thousand two hundred kilometres apart marked the implementation of new curricula for the Regional Peace Training Centre (RPTC) of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Workshop number two at the end of last month (January) in Lesotho followed the first in Madagascar five months previously. Both saw roll out of a new curricula, with no detail given in a SADC statement, apart from noting the regional bloc was currently involved in two peacekeeping operations – SAMIM in Mozambique and SAMIDRC in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These, the statement has it, “require concerted efforts to build capacity of personnel earmarked for deployment”.

RPTC Commandant, Namibian Rear Admiral Gottlieb Pandeni, according to the statement stressed “enhanced capacity” included knowledge of managing peace support operations “considering the complex and diverse nature on contemporary threats to peace and security” in the SADC region.

Aims of the Madagascar workshop included providing pre-deployment knowledge of peace support operations (PSOs) as well as the who’s and what’s of roles and responsibilities of the military, police and civilian components in “multi-dimensional PSOs”.

There were 46 delegates at the Antananarivo workshop with 50 attending the Lesotho workshop.

The SADC RPTC in Harare, Zimbabwe co-ordinates peacekeeping and peace support training for the regional bloc. This is effected through its mission, which reads: “To design, provide, and co-ordinate peacekeeping/peace support training in the SADC region as mandated by the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, and in line with AU and UN standards”. Its vision is to be “a reputable and responsive centre of excellence in training, research and development of capacities and expertise in peace support operations”.

The training needs of the SADC standby force at regional level is its number one priority and covers civilian, military and police components.