Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of Defence launches trial training for the Triangular Partnership Project

8 Sep 2015

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of Defence launches trial training for the Triangular Partnership Project

7th September 2015, Nairobi: A six week trial training for the Triangular Partnership Project commenced in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on Monday, under the tutelage of the United Nations Department of Field Support (UN-DFS) and the Japanese government.

The Triangular Partnership Project is expected to build the engineering capacity of African Troop Contributing Countries through training, mentoring and provision of operational equipment, prior to their deployment to peacekeeping missions.

A total of 10 trainees from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, are being trained on how to operate and maintain heavy engineering equipment and broaden their engineering skills.

“When a peacekeeping mission starts up, one of the greatest needs is horizontal engineering to set up the mission. So while peacekeeping fundamentally remains a political endeavour to support peaceful settlements, not very much can be achieved without the peacekeeping missions actually being present. And that means you need secure livable camps, you need passable roads, you need functional airstrips and helipads. In United Nations Peacekeeping, such major horizontal construction tasks are carried out by the military engineering unit that the TCCs provide,” explained Harinder ‘Harry’ Sood, the Project Manager of the Triangular Partnership Project at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

After the trial training, long-term training will start in a static training facility in one of the East African countries. Consultations on the location of the facility are still ongoing.

Sood emphasized the significance of the project in supporting peacekeeping missions.  He said, “United Nations Peacekeeping today operates in a context vastly different from when it was first conceived. Today, we have missions that operate in almost non-permissive environments; missions, which are in remote areas, in some of the poorest parts of the world in conflict prone areas; in areas where there is little peace to keep; and in places where the threats are often transnational.

He concluded, “In such a context, the capability that this project intends to build cannot be over emphasized.”

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of Defence Ms. Raychelle Omamo officially opened the trial training at the Humanitarian and Peace Support School (HPSS) in Embakasi, Nairobi. Ms. Omamo applauded the government of Japan for providing trainers for the project. She also thanked the Triangular Partnership Project for using Kenya as a launching pad for the capability.

“In particular we applaud the government of Japan for recognising the need to support the cause of peace and stability in our region, through training and capacity building within the framework of the peacekeeping agenda of the United Nations,” said Ms. Omamo.

The Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Tatsushi Terada appreciated efforts by the Department of Field Support and the Kenya government in ensuring that the trial training took off smoothly. “I hope the trial training will yield fruitful results and this will in turn form a basis of a framework for subsequent long term training,” he said.

In September 2014, during the Summit on UN Peacekeeping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe committed to provide engineering equipment in Africa through a Trust Fund in the United Nations. The Japanese government has already provided almost $40 million for initial operations. The capital will support infrastructure development and procurement of heavy engineering plant equipment for both training and deployment.