Peace in Africa benefits Europe as well –Austria diplomat

Chancellor Guenther Barber, an officer from the Austrian Ministry of Defence says securing peace in Africa has overreaching benefits for Europe as well.

He said just as European decisions have both negative and positive effects on Africa, what happens in Africa also have a mirror effect on Europe, with the reason being that the two continents are divided only by the Mediterranean Sea.

In the same vein, securing and working towards peace of the African continent is crucial for its political stability and development.

He was speaking at the opening of a 10-day workshop, dubbed ‘Political Advisors Course for Peace Support Operations in Africa,” on Monday in Accra.

The programme was sponsored by the Austrian government, as part of its bilateral and multilateral commitment to Africa.

According to him, although Austria is a small and landlocked country in Europe, it is determined to contribute its quota to the peace of Africa and the world at large.

He commented on the happenings in the Sahel region and how much it has brought misunderstanding between the people, ECOWAS and the European Union.

Mr. Barber explained that political advise is a craft and art of understanding what to do in response to conflict situations.

A good political advisor is formed on good assessment and judgement of conflict issues and offering advice that is a cutting edge solution.

Colonel Emmanuel Larbi Sarpong Gyadu, representative of the Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peace Training Centre (KAIPTC) said “the role of the political advisor in a mission was very critical for providing the mission leadership with proper analysis of political developments, trends and emerging issues in the country or region.

“He also makes recommendations on possible policies, strategies and other measures to address those issues.”

He said the role of a political advisor involves negotiation and mediation principles, reporting, briefing, public diplomacy as well as dealing with the media.

“I have no doubt that this training will expose you to internationally-required competencies and standards for Political Advisors and I am certain that it will enable you to better understand the dynamics of conflict and crises management in order to function effectively in Multi-Dimensional Peace Support Operations,” he said.

Col Gyadu urged the participants to take the training seriously, since peace was a critical prerequisite for national, regional and global development.

He emphasised this point by indicating that the absence of peace is anarchy, resulting in stagnation and devastation of societies.

“It is for this reason that this course has been organised to formalise training of Political Advisors for Commanders of Operations and/or Heads of Missions of UN/AU/ECOWAS,” he added.

The participants were made of 16 security and civilians drawn from Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali and Burkina Faso.


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