Beyond peace specializes in training armed forces and non-state armed groups on the Law of armed conflict (LOAC), on the prevention of sexual violence (PSV) and generally on compliance with international norms in order to upgrade their behavior, their efficacy and their reputation.
We are currently setting-up the training on international humanitarian law (IHL) and PSV for the Central African armed forces (FACA), in cooperation with the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) in Bangui.
The objective is to improve the behavior of the Central African armed forces (FACA) by integrating International humanitarian law (IHL) and prevention of sexual violence (PSV) in the training delivered by the EUTM Bangui
After the eruption of the conflict in CAR in 2013 that saw widespread sexual violence against civilians, the country is undergoing an internationally supervised transition, including the deployment of the MINUSCA and of an EU CSDP military training mission (EUTM RCA). During the crisis, the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) were largely inefficient. The population considers that they failed to protect them and that they participated in the extra-judicial killings, the rapes and looting. In spite of the past misbehavior, the deployment of FACA would be welcomed as the only symbol of state presence. But for that to be successful, the FACA would need to improve their capacities and especially their behavior.
Beyond peace intends to establish the training program, by:
– conducting an applicable law analysis (instruments ratified by the CAR; national law, criminal procedure) in relation with the conflict and mainly the duties, obligations and limitations for the FACA
– conducting a contextual analysis (cultural aspects, religious and ethnic dimension possibly affecting training and behavior; relation to power and authorities; learning and problem-solving traditions ; main weaknesses of FACA with regards behavior; tactical environment
– designing training material that makes sense to FACA trainees and is adapted to CAR context.
The training, which will be integrated in the EUTM official training program, will include: lectures for Commanders (including Command responsibility) and for troops (mainly based on Do’s and Don’ts), tactical exercises and assessment tools. Beyond peace has been working pro bono on this project for the past year. Thanks to the trust of the UK Embassy in Kinshasa and of the EUTM, Beyond peace will start the pilot project implementation as of July 2017.
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Beyond peace works regularly with the UK armed forces as a Gender adviser. Our work includes:
- Advising on gender mainstreaming and implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, on which the UK is leading;
- Teaching and training at Srivenham military academy (since 2016) and in the Understanding and Working with the Military training (for UK civil servants)
- Participating in military exercises and mission rehearsal exercises for deploying troops: UK Joint Horizon, OP Trenton (deploying to South Sudan UNMISS)
San remo IIHL / US Africom
Beyond peace works with the US Africa Command on accountability for Commanders of African units deployed to UN peacekeeping missions. We participated in the African accountability workshops organised by the US Africom and the San remo Institute of International law in 2014 and 2016.
Beyond peace contributes to the work of the San remo Institute of humanitarian law (IIHL). In addition to her role as the former Director of the Refugee Law Course, Founder Cynthia Petrigh, who is a member of the Institute, is regularly invited to participate in reflection and debates, such as the San remo annual Round-Table on current issues of IHL.
Training the Malian armed forces (FAMA) at EUTM Mali
“We understood the difference between a professional Army and a group of bandits” – a soldier
Beyond peace Cynthia Petrigh designed and implemented the IHL/human rights/PSV training package for the EUTM mission in Mali. We trained 2,700 troops and officers during this UK seconded deployment which took place from June 2013 to June 2014. During this time, we developed lectures, drills, evaluations, as well as training for the European training officers, for increased cohesion, effectiveness and multiplying effect.
Challenges facing the FAMA (such as dealing with civilian riots; handling vulnerable persons at checkpoints; behaving in a professional manner in a context of fear and revenge) were integrated in the tactical exercises with the cooperation of the EU military trainers.
The Malian experience was shared with a number of specialized audiences. We were invited by the Swedish armed forces and the Nordic Centre for Gender in the Military to share our experience and findings, in September 2014, ahead of the deployment of Swedish troops to MINUSMA. A hearing was organised at Whitehall for the different Government agencies to discuss the IHL/PSV training of the FAMA program and its policy implications.
In The Hague, meetings were organised by GPPA with civil society as well as with the Swedish armed forces, who are deploying troops to the MINUSMA. In Belgrade,
We edited and published a training manual based on our experience in Mali with the EUTM. This manual explains the methodology which was developed specifically for the Malian troops and which was used to train more than 3,000 troops. The manual is available for free download on this website.
Working with non-state armed groups (NSAG)
We have been working with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in different capacities for several years.
While our Founder Cynthia Petrigh worked closely with the MILF negotiating panel in her role as a member of the international Contact Group for the peace talks on Mindanao (ICG) in 2009-2010 and with the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) and their Ceasefire component during her tour as the Head of IHL/Human rights component of the ceasefire monitoring mission in 2011-2012, we continued our engagement with the MILF.
Beyond peace conducted a mission to Mindanao in February 2016 to meet with the political and military leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). We discussed with the MILF training needs for the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed forces (BIAF) in the context of the transformation.
In 2015, we visited Mindanao on behalf of a short mission with Swiss NGO Geneva Call to bring support on the content and the methodology of workshops with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on the prohibition sexual violence.
Beyond peace conducts confidential work with other NSAG in Asia and in Africa on compliance, ceasefire monitoring and support to mediation processes.