9. Capacity-Building Workshop on Peacekeeping for the Military and Police, Kampala, Uganda (July 2016)

Capacity-Building Workshop on Peacekeeping for the Military and Police from Burundi and Uganda, Kampala, Uganda
26-29 July 2016

Introduction

The Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, held a three-day training workshop for military and police officers from Burundi and Uganda at Hotel Africana, in Kampala, Uganda, from 26 to 29 July 2016. The main objective of the training was to provide participants with a practical and theoretical grounding in peacekeeping and peace support operation skills and knowledge, with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS prevention and care; conflict management; human rights; and gender issues. Twenty-five military officers were invited to explore, build, and reinforce their knowledge, skills, and competencies in these thematic areas, with an emphasis on creating a proper linkage between these areas in their mandates as peacekeepers and human rights protectors in conflict and post-conflict situations.

Workshop Objectives

The Kampala training workshop had the following four key objectives:

  • To provide military personnel across the region with knowledge in HIV/AIDS prevention approaches before their deployment to peacekeeping missions;
  • To enhance the awareness and practice of participants in peacekeeping principles in relation to their roles as human rights and peacebuilding actors during and after conflicts;
  • To promote gender-sensitive practices among military personnel, especially with regard to the relationship between HIV/AIDS and gender; and
  • To build and strengthen the knowledge and understanding of participants of the concepts of human rights and conflict management as components of peacekeeping and peace support operations.

Workshop participantsMethodology

The Kampala training workshop was conducted in English and French with the help of simultaneous interpretation services. Facilitator-led presentations, plenary discussions, participant debriefing sessions, group discussions, and role plays provided an interactive and participatory approach to foster a theoretical and practical understanding of the thematic areas covered by the training. Practical examples were provided from the challenges and opportunities faced by the participants in a range of circumstances. These offered participants an opportunity to contextualise key issues discussed. The workshop further provided participants with materials tailored to their specific needs, and supported them in sharing experiences with each other.

Topics Covered

Conflict management and human rights in peacekeeping operations
The facilitator began the session with a lecture introducing the term conflict and then moved to an exploration of conflict in the context of conflict management. He explained to the participants that conflict may be defined as a struggle or contest between people with opposing needs, ideas, beliefs, values, or goals. Conflict is inevitable; however, the results of conflict are not predetermined. He further explained that conflict might either escalate and lead to non-productive results, or be beneficially resolved, and explained that learning to manage conflict is integral to a high-performing team, as although very few people go looking for conflict, more often than not conflict results because of miscommunication between people with regard to their needs, ideas, beliefs, values, or goals. Through a participatory approach, the causes of conflict, types of conflict, and different conflict management styles were analysed. Conflict management is based in the principle that although not all conflicts can be resolved, learning how to manage them can decrease the odds of escalation. Successful conflict management involves acquiring skills related to conflict resolution, acquiring self-awareness about modes of conflict, developing conflict communication skills, and establishing a structure for management of conflict in a given environment.

Workshop participantsPeacekeeping and peace support operations: guiding principles
The facilitator began by informing participants that peacekeeping operations started after the Second World War. The facilitator noted that over the past six decades, United Nations (UN) peacekeeping has evolved into a complex, global undertaking. During this time, the conduct of United Nations peacekeeping operations has been guided by a largely unwritten body of principles and informed by the experiences of the many thousands of men and women who have served in the more than 60 operations launched since 1948. The UN Charter designates the Security Council as having the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security.

Peacekeeping operations in Africa
The facilitator informed participants that over 50 peace operations have been deployed to 18 African countries since 2000, and that "partnership peacekeeping," which involves collaboration between various multilateral and bilateral actors and institutions, has become increasingly common. Force generation efforts should focus on deploying the capabilities needed to realise mission objectives and not solely on numbers of peacekeepers. Peace operations must be seen as part of an effective political strategy aimed at conflict resolution, not a substitute for it. Maintaining legitimacy among international and local stakeholders is a crucial part of achieving success. International disagreements persist over the fundamental purpose of peace operations, particularly with regard to the use of military force.

Gender issues and women in peacekeeping operations
Through group work, the facilitator enabled participants to discuss on the role of gender in peacekeeping operations. It was noted that gender did not refer to women and men but to the relationships between them and the manner in which these relationships are socially constructed. Participants pointed out that gender identifies the social relationships between women and men, boys and girls. Even in situations of normalcy, gender issues, concerns, and challenges are always present, but can become particularly problematic in conflict and post-conflict societies, where the responsibilities of men and women can change. In almost all African societies, women are continuously engaged in reproductive, productive, and community work - the "triple role" of women. The ability of women and men to perform their gendered roles, but especially women's ability to perform their triple role, is affected by the insecurity caused by armed conflict.

Workshop participantsConflict tools and analysis
The facilitator began the session by revisiting the definition of conflict as well as the exploration of its causes and consequences, and approaches to managing conflict. In order to manage a conflict, one must begin with an analysis of the conflict. It was emphasised that conflict analysis is the initial stage of conflict resolution, wherein parties seek to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics in their relationship. The facilitator described conflict analysis as a tool for deeply examining an issue in a given situation to understand its roots causes, connections, and consequences. The dynamic and goal of conflict analysis is to move from a position of ignorance to a position of knowledge about the real causes of a conflict.

HIV/AIDS in peacekeeping operations
The facilitator began the session by explaining HIV/AIDS to participants. She further lectured on the history, causes, modes of infection, and ways in which the disease could be prevented. Peacekeepers, due to the unique nature of their work, may find themselves more vulnerable to HIV infection compared to the general population. Participants discussed the reasons for this, including the fact that peacekeepers are usually in a sexually active age group; loneliness and separation from regular sexual partners and families for lengthy periods away from home; sexual needs and peer pressure to have casual sex; increased levels of commercial sex work; high levels of alcohol consumption; occupational stress; and deployment into areas that have a high HIV prevalence.

HIV/AIDS in conflict and post-conflict situations
The facilitator began by pointing out to participants that there are a number of factors that contribute to the increased spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases during conflict, including prevalent sexual violence; displacement of communities as a result of the conflict; free movement of internally displaced persons; economic vulnerability within host communities; destruction of health facilities and other social infrastructure; location of refugee camps and internally displaced persons close to military barracks; and high prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among host communities.

Workshop participantsConflict tools and analysis
Participants were asked to discuss the contexts within they work and to reflect the peacebuilding challenges they face within their networks. Participants were divided into groups and given an hour to complete this exercise, and then presented to the plenary the results from the group discussions. The presentations made by each of the groups clearly illustrated good knowledge about the respective contexts within which they were working, even if each group concentrated on particular nuances of these contexts. The exercise was premised on the idea that contextual analysis is key in understanding a given situation.

Approaches to dealing with conflict
Participants were taken through a discussion of how a mediator can assist the parties in conflict to ensure that, after the conflict is resolved, no new conflict erupts. It was noted that further conflict can be avoided by ensuring that all the parties concerned respect the agreements and by ensuring that the concerned parties are satisfied with the terms set in the agreements. It was also noted that although turning a deaf ear to a conflict can sometimes produce good results, often this can exacerbate anger. Therefore, avoidance as an approach to dealing with conflict is generally not productive - we need to assess the situation and decide what needs to be done.

Workshop Outcomes

All 25 participants who attended the workshop reported that the training increased their knowledge, skills, and tools in planning and facilitating a workshop. For example:

Major Nasuru Namara"The workshop greatly enhanced my understanding in peacekeeping and peace operations in conflict-prone countries especially on human rights, HIV/AIDS and gender issues at this time that we are about to be deployed in peacekeeping operation in South Sudan." Major Nasuru Namara, Uganda People's Defence Forces, Kampala


Captain Herman Bazirutwabo"The workshop was of great importance to me and to my colleagues from Burundi. This is because we have learned for the first time about conflict management and human rights. The knowledge gained from this workshop will enable us to manage the conflicts in our country by paying great attention to human rights and mediation." Captain Herman Bazirutwabo, Burundi Ministry of National Defence and War Veterans, Bujumbura

Captain Alexandre Nzeyimana"The workshop effectively enhanced my knowledge and skills with regards to conflict management and human rights. I was learning for the first time the importance of human rights and conflict management during peacekeeping missions." Captain Alexandre Nzeyimana, Burundi Ministry of National Defence and War Veterans, Bujumbura


Colonel Augustin Nigaba"The workshop was an opportunity that brought the Burundian and the Ugandan military together so that they can share experiences and look for common grounds to work together in future to guarantee security in the great Lake region." Colonel Augustin Nigaba, Director of Planning at the General Directorate of War Veterans, Burundi Ministry of National Defence and War Veterans, Bujumbura

Lieutenant Diana Nambooze"I will use the knowledge, skills and resources to train the cadets in the Uganda military academy on human rights, gender and conflict management." This participant also committed to using the knowledge, skills, and resources gained to train soldiers before their deployment to peacekeeping operations across Africa. Lieutenant Diana Nambooze, Trainer, Uganda People's Defence Forces, Kampala

 

Kampala workshop participants 26-29 July 2016


Participants at CCR’s capacity-building workshop on peacekeeping for the Military and Police from Burundi and Uganda, Kampala, Uganda, 26-29 July 2016

Workshop photo gallery

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