An opening ceremony was held on Monday 24 May 2021 at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) for the 2021 Peace Operations Course (POC). The Commandant of the College, Rear Admiral Moses Beick-Baffour, welcomed participants from the Master of Science in Defence and International Politics Class of 2021/2022, and regular students of Course 42 to the programme. Before his opening address, the Commandant led a one-minute silence observation for the demise of the late Chief of the Army Staff of the Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, the crew and other passengers who perished in a plane crash on Friday 21 May 2021. He added that among the dead was Brigadier General Olatunji Lukman Olayinka – a former Directing Staff at GAFCSC.

In his address, Rear Admiral Beick-Baffour mentioned that the POC was by far the most expensive programme in the curriculum of the College and was usually supported by the German government because of the importance they attach to peace operations. He, however, added that the college has managed to solely undertake the course this year due to the inability of the German government to render their support as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. He stressed that it was imperative to plan and prepare for any peace operations so as to adapt to changing situations.  The course targets preparing participants for peace operations by examining the legal issues underpinning peace operation mandates. It also aims at studying the dynamics of new and emergent issues in peace operations, the role of regional organisations such as the AU, regional security forces like the African Standby Force and the role of troop-contributing countries as well as the legal boundaries of the UN Security Council authorisation and approval. The POC has therefore been designed to take participants through the ranges and nature of peace operations.

He further expressed his appreciation to the able facilitators for their willingness to impart their knowledge on peace operations matters to the students. He urged participants to take the course seriously as it would equip them to adequately handle peace operations issues in the future. The POC is expected to end on 4th June 2021 and culminate in a Combined Joint African Exercise.

– By Lt Col EN Asamoah – Deputy Director Corporate Affairs