In late January 2020, a team from the Dallaire Initiative travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to meet with top government officials: the Ministers of Defense, Interior, Human Rights, Gender and Family, and Youth. While there, the team also met with Members of the Communications Branch of the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC), Centre Supérieur Militaire, Police Nationale Congolaise (PNC), DRC Joint Technical Working Committee on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), civil society members, and UN officials (MONUSCO SRSG, Chief IMTC), as well as the Ambassadors of Canada, Switzerland and Belgium. The purpose of the trip was to introduce to various stakeholders the mission, objectives and scope of work of the Dallaire Initiative and advocate for the DRC to endorse the Vancouver Principles (VP).
The outcome of the mission in the DRC was very successful. The DRC government, through its Ministry of Human Rights, expressed in a note verbale its commitment to endorsing the Vancouver Principles. Through various discussions and presentations to high-ranking officials within the security sector, we were also able to establish an agreement for an upcoming collaboration to provide basic training to DRC forces on the prevention of recruitment of use of child as soldiers.
Following discussions with the Training Chief of the Integrated Mission Training Centre (IMTC) in Kinshasa, and the MONUSCO Child Protection Office, the IMTC and the Dallaire Initiative jointly proposed a Child Protection Focal Point Training of Trainer (ToT) Workshop for MONUSCO Military trainers, representatives from IMTC, and the Child Protection Office. The workshop was intended as a full-day familiarization training to showcase key Dallaire Initiative training tools and methods with the intention of opening doors to further training opportunities.
On March 10, 2020, a team of five Dallaire Initiative staff and consultants, representing our Rwanda country office, successfully delivered this training to a mixed class of 13 participants. We very much look forward to building upon this partnership as soon as possible.
(PHOTO) Left to right: Colonel Pierre MAWA, Advisor to the Minister of Defense, George Boyuk, Anthony Di Carlo, Dr. Shelly Whitman, His Excellency Aime Ngoi Mukena, Minister of National Defense and Veterans, Arsene Tshidimu