17 - 22 September 2012, Kaduna State, Nigeria - UNITAR and the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Training Centre (NAPKC) have conducted a successful Training course on the “Protection of Civilians in UN Peacekeeping Operations” (intermediate/advanced level) from 17 - 22 September 2012 in the partner institution’s premises in Jaji, Kaduna State, Nigeria.

Participants included 28 Nigerian and Gambian military and police officers about to deploy in UN and ECOWAS missions in Guinea-Bissau, Darfur Sudan, South Sudan and the DRC.

Trainers delivered lectures mixed with presentations, group discussions, and – most appreciated by participants – scenario-based exercises.  The exercises, backed up by informative lectures, clarified the requirements of protection of civilians mandates and rules of engagement and cast light on effective, legitimate and innovative ways to implement these directives. The course drew on UNITAR’s highly interactive protection of civilians training materials.

During delivery of the course, the documentary film “Mandated to Protect: Protection of Civilians in Peace Operations”, produced by UNITAR with the Australian Civil-Military Centre, formerly known as the Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence, was used as a training tool and significantly contributed to clarifying a number of complex challenges related to the Protection of Civilians in peace operations.

In the evaluation, participants explained that they had benefited hugely from the realistic scenario-based exercises skilfully run by trainers Major General Edi Donatus (ret’d) General Ezekiel Olufin (rtd) and Dr Linnéa Gelot.  At the end of the training they were more confident and prepared for the challenges and expectations to protect civilians in African conflict and post-conflict settings.