The course has brought together 18 participants from Burundi, Comoros, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, all of them with experience from one or more international missions and representing all branches and ranks from Lieutenant to Colonel.
The course started out with two days of basic UN knowledge and general staff duty orientations that were followed by an introduction of the UN MCPP with a step-by-step guidance of the planning model in form of a MAPEX.
Ali Mohamed Ali, Capt from the Comorian navy, is happy to attend a UN course for the first time ever. Having been in the navy throughout his carrier, he finds it somewhat challenging to deal with what he with laughter refers to as “army stuff” and feels that he has a lot to catch up with. However, the atmosphere among the students and instructors is very good and whenever something needs to be clarified there is always a helping hand. He would have preferred the training to be in French but on the other hand, he says, it is a very good opportunity for him to improve his English skills. The Comorian Armed Forces is by number quite small, only a couple of thousand, and is currently not involved in any overseas deployment but two DDR officers in Burundi. Capt Ali Mohamed Ali is not assigned to any appointment, but you never know, as he says, all of a sudden you will get appointed for an assignment overseas, and with this training I will feel more confident going.
During the second and last week of the course the students will continue with another MAPEX in which they should demonstrate their recently gained knowledge and skills in the UN Military planning process. Their task will be to plan an operation on sector (brigade) level for the fictitious United Nations Mission in Bogaland, especially taking protection of civilians, other mission components and the host nation into consideration.
The course ends on the 10th of March.