Fifty eight Police officers, who are attending the UN Police Officer Course (UNPOC) for Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) at the Police Training School (PTS) Gishari, conducted a study tour on Saturday.

The ninth UNPOC course brings together participants from Comoros, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Djibouti and the host, Rwanda.

During the tour, which serves as the practical part of the two-week peacekeeping course, officers visited Kigali Genocide Memorial in Gisozi where they laid wreaths to pay tribute to more than one million people killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The visit was also meant to learn about Rwanda’s history, the Genocide, events that led to mass killings including the role of the then leadership in planning and execution to exterminate Tutsis.

One of the students; Lt. Amin Sanad from Sudan said that what he has witnessed and learnt on Rwanda’s dark past is different from what he was hearing.

“Most of the people hear of Genocide, but they don’t know what exactly happened. What I have seen here breaks your heart, it’s unimaginable thing. We thank God that there are some who managed to survive and striving to live and to develop their country,” Sanad said.

“We have heard a true story of what happened in Rwanda, a story we will share with others back home. We have learnt what is required of law enforcement organs to prevent such from happening anywhere again; it’s a lesson we will also take in peacekeeping duties,” he added.

Cpl. Teresia Okali from Kenya said that survivors shouldn’t be held back by what happened but strive to live a purposeful life.

She commended the government for documenting the past to educate Rwandans on their history and what is required of them to ensure that such never happens again.

The UNPOC theory and practical course is in line with EASF mission to maintain and sustain a fully operational and multidimensional integrated standby force ready for peace support operations.

The objectives of the course is to introduce participants on the concept and mandate of peace support operations, multidimensional nature of peacekeeping, EASF, AU and UN organs’ relations in line with peace and security as well as challenges in peace support operations.

The Express News

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