India, US train UN peacekeepers from Africa

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New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) Some 41 peacekeepers from 19 African countries on Monday began two-week training conducted jointly by Indian and US trainers on UN peacekeeping operations.

The joint India-US effort for capacity building of African countries is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to the United Nations on the 17th anniversary for more contributions to the UN peacekeeping operations.

The training programme by the Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping in India (CUNPK) is the third in a series of UN peacekeeping courses for African countries. Similar editions were held in 2016 and 2017.

Ruchi Ghanashyam, Secretary (West), External Affairs Ministry, welcomed the officers and briefed the audience on the commitment of India towards the UN in the inaugural session of the programme at the Manekshaw Centre here. Kenneth Juster, US Ambassador to India, also addressed the audience.

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Other speakers on the occasion included Lt Gen A.K. Sharma, Director General Staff Duties.

The course is aimed to build and enhance the capacity of the African troop contributing countries to the UN and to further train the trainers from there, an Indian Army spokesperson said in a statement.

“The course is based on the concept of training the trainers, as stated by the UN, is one of the many steps that India has initiated towards active contribution to peace support activities,” the spokesperson said.

The first two editions of the course were conducted in English which limited the participation to English speaking African Countries only. But to widen the participation base and include Francophone countries, the third edition is being conducted in English as well as French.

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Over 50 per cent of participants are from Francophone countries.

The training incorporates topics on operational and logistical matters, humanitarian issues, blackboard and table top exercises, mission briefs and is being conducted by a pool of seasoned instructors from India and the US.

The alumni instructors from Africa who have attended the previous edition of this course are also holding some sessions.

–IANS

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