ACCORD's Training Unit Coordinator, Pascal da Rocha, has facilitated a three week lecture and mentoring programme on issues relating to peace and security in Africa, in Uppsala, Sweden, as the second phase of an 18-month, 5-phase international training programme to improve the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). It is facilitated by ACCORD, in partnership with the Department of Peace and Conflict Research (DPCR) at Uppsala University, and Indevelop, a Stockholm based consultancy.
Twenty-five participants from key inter-governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations and Regional Economic Communities took part in this activity. Participating organisations included the Africa Peace Forum, the African Union Commission, AU Mission in Somalia, Centre for Peace Initiatives in Africa, CEWARN-IGAD, East African Community, Eastern Africa Standby Force, Goree Institute, ICGLR, Regional Centre on Small Arms and the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding. This second phase took place from 14 May to 1 June 2012, and participants were brought together for a series of lectures, mentoring sessions, panel debates and study visits.
At the commencement of the programme, participants were tasked with developing a change project for implementation during the extended programme. These ideas were presented to the group and jointly developed further. Themes included: causes of war; conflict resolution; gender and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR); amnesty; impunity and sexual violence in post-war societies; and citizenship and political identity. With the support of the organisations they represent, participants have been tasked with implementing their project during the course of the programme and they are being mentored by the mentoring teams from ACCORD, DPCR and Indevelop.
The next phase of the programme will take place in October 2012. Participants will travel to South Africa for a two week follow-up on their project assignments. The programme will take place in Durban and Johannesburg, as a means of exposing students to a country that was able to prevent excessive violence, as South Africa transitioned from Apartheid to democracy.
Strengthening the peace and security architecture in Africa is a key output of ACCORD's overall institutional strategy. Participating in this comprehensive programme provides the knowledge and the tools for addressing major challenges facing African organisations involved in peace and conflict programmes. As of now, the consortium ACCORD-DPCR-Indevelop are planning for a third edition of PASA 2013-2014