There is an observable rise in the number of peacekeepers killed by terrorists in Mali since 2013. For example, a report by Aljazeera news network quoting the United Nations indicate that 146 peacekeepers have been killed by terror attacks in Mali alone since 2013, raising questions about the levels of preparedness of African peacekeepers for terrorism prevention.
Against the above background, police/troop contributing countries (P/TCCs) have been pressing the UN for authorization to respond to terror attacks in equal measure. However, the UN’s response has been that of caution – i.e. rather establishing transnational crime and counter-terrorism units in the respective theatres. While acknowledging some of the efforts by the P/TCCs to prevent the killing of their peacekeepers in the field, questions remain as to what more P/TCCs can do on their own to prevent mass killings of peacekeepers in international peace support operations. One clear area that the P/TCCs could focus attention on is to review their respective pre-deployment training packages for their peacekeepers to ensure that appropriate training on terrorism prevention is given to peacekeepers prior to deployment.
Furthermore, the ability of terrorists and terror groups to use countries that host international peacekeeping operation such as Mali to launch attacks on neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso and Niger, calls for more attention towards capacity development to prevent more killings of peacekeepers in their line of duty. That way, peacekeepers can also help contain the spread of terrorism in West Africa.
- To improve the technical skills of African peacekeepers in preserving themselves against terror attacks through research and training, focusing on the following Troop Countributing Countries - Togo, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal.
- To produce a scoping study report on terrorism-related training gaps for P/TCCs participating in the project’
- To produce a guide for developing/strengthening counter-terrorism component of the pre-deployment training of peacekeepers by the participating Police/Troop Contributing Countries (P/TCCs); and
- To train up to 100 personnel from the training units of the participating P/TCCs towards refining their respective training content for their peacekeepers.
The project expects to deliver the following outputs:
- Regional policy seminar on assessing the status of terrorism prevention training for peacekeepers in Africa.
- A report on terrorism prevention components of P/TCCs pre-deployment training produced.
- Tool kits for preventing terrorism for peacekeepers developed. A guide and policy brief for strengthening terrorism prevention component of the pre-deployment training of peacekeepers of P/TCCs produced.
- One course design workshop conducted after Training of Trainers (TOT) manual and tools on P/TCCs in terrorism prevention developed.
- Skills, knowledge and expertise of 100 personnel from the training units of the participating P/TCCs improved.
The project is funded by the Government of Japan with a seed funding of USD500,000.
Accomplishments – progress and key achievements (as of May 2019)
- Improved the knowledge and skills of 98 training officers including 14 female Police/Troop training officers from 8 African countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, andTogo) on terrorism scenarios and strategies to handle different situations.
- Training manual is being developed for strengthening peacekeepers’ capacity gaps to fight.
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