Kigali – 24 Rwandan military, police and civilian personnel have attended a one-week long course on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) organised by Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA) in partnership the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Rwanda and the Government of Japan.
The objective of the course is to equip participants with required knowledge and skills to minimize Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Peace Keeping missions.
While officiating the course, Colonel (Rtd) Jill Rutaremara, the Director of Rwanda Peace Academy reminded that GBV is one of the greatest humanitarian challenges, especially in Peace Support Operations. In conflict-affected states, for example, rape is often used as a strategy of warfare to undermine the enemy and to demoralize and destabilize communities.
Colonel (Rtd) Rutaremara urged that everyone has a role to play in fighting GBV. “Prevention of and response to SGBV deserves the closest attention of each and every one of us – from individuals to communities and states. Security actors should therefore be equipped with knowledge and skills to enable them to effectively prevent and respond to SGBV thus the essence of this training programme,” he said.
The Director of the Rwanda Peace Academy added that GBV prevention measures should be integrated into national and international policies and strategies. “Effective prevention of SGBV can only be possible if women and men’s concerns and experiences are integrated into the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes.”
The official opening of the course coincided with the launching of the 2021/2022 Project on Strengthening the Capacities of the Rwanda Peace Academy, which is a Regional Peacekeeping Training and Research Institution under the Rwanda’s Ministry of Defence.
Under this partnership, the Government of Japan through UNDP have provided a new financial support worth $210,000 that will enhance the capacity development of regional security sector actors in conflict prevention, conflict management and resolution as well as peacebuilding.
In addition to the SGBV course, four more training courses will be delivered under this project.
“The Government of Japan and the UNDP support African-led peace support activities that build and foster institutions for conflict prevention and sustainable peace. This project is in line with the priority areas of the Yokohama
Declaration 2019 and Yokohama Action Plan 2019, which were agreed upon at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development - TICAD7,” explained Ms. Yuko Hotta, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Japan in Rwanda.
The project also embodies the concept of the New Approach for Peace and Stability in Africa (NAPSA) proposed by the Japanese Government at TICAD7, and will contribute to the achievement of these commitments.
The RPA has been playing an important role in developing the regional capacity for conflict prevention, management, resolution, post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding, based on Rwanda's experience in peacebuilding and by effectively using international best practices.
Colonel (Rtd) Rutaremara appreciate the donors for their timely support to strengthen its capacity for high standard service delivery. “I wish therefore to thank most sincerely the Government of Japan and UNDP for their continued support not only in training but also in research as well as enhancement of the institutional capacity.”
For UNDP, investing in peace building and conflict management and conflict prevention contribute to sustainable development and therefore to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).