News / Peacekeeping

ACCORD partners with the African Union Commission (AUC’s) on its Protection of Civilians Specialisation Course

The AUC’s Peace and Security Operations Division (AUC PSOD), in partnership with ACCORD and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), hosted the AU Protection of Civilians Specialisation Course for rostered personnel in Pretoria, South Africa.

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The AUC has emphasised that the Protection of Civilians (PoC) is a key principle underpinning the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and has ensured that PoC is mainstreamed across the whole spectrum of the APSA. It is against this background that the AUC developed and compiled the Integrated PoC Training Standards, supported by ACCORD through its Training for Peace Programme. The specialisation course focused on the Integrated PoC Training Standards, which are aimed at enhancing the understanding of POC in the context of the AU’s Peace Support Operations (PSOs).

The objective of the specialisation training was therefore to equip rostered personnel and experts involved in serving or are currently serving in missions or providing training at various training institutions. As a result, the training aimed to: enhance the participants’ understanding of the context in which AU PSOs are deployed and the implication of the PoC mandate on the deployment and activities of a mission; enhance the understanding of the AU’s strategic approach to protection, and related policies and guidance documents that inform PSOs decision making, coordination, monitoring and evaluation, field management; and to equip participants with the enhanced knowledge, skills and tools to effectively plan and implement PoC mandates in AU PSOs. The course focused on the importance of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL), International Human Rights Law (IHRL), child protection, gender, conflict-related Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA), Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and the handling and management of detainees and fighters.

ACCORD’s involvement in this initiative is in line with its strategic goal of supporting efforts at strengthening the United Nation (UN), AUC and Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) capacity and capability to plan, manage and implement Peace Support Operations on the continent through the enhancement of the capacities of the African Standby Force. This initiative also seeks to contribute to improved sustainable capacity for the conduct of PSOs on the continent through ensuring effective functioning of organizational systems in the RECs/RMs.

The training course was attended by participants who came from the AU and UN missions and International Organisations.