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UN accredits Nepal Army training centre in Kavre

  • Birendra Peace Operation Training Centre wins UN certification first time in 30 years
- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Oct 25, 2018-

The United Nations has accredited the high quality training imparted by Nepal Army’s (NA) training centre in Panchkal in Kavre district. The Birendra Peace Operation Training Centre (BPOTC) trains NA’s personnel deployed by the United Nations in its Peacekeeping Missions all over the world. Established in 1986, this is the first time the BPOTC has received the UN accreditation in over 30 years. This recognition follows the US government’s clearance on human rights vetting.

The UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations for the first time issued recognition certification for two trainings--United Nations Contingent Pre-deployment Training and United Nations Staffs Officers Course—conducted by the BPOTC. The two trainings are mandatory before deploying any army personnel as blue helmets in war-hit nations. The certification issued by United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operation Jean-Pierre Lacroix is valid for four years from October 31, 2018 to October 30, 2022.

Currently, UN Peacekeeping Missions deploy army personnel from 116 countries in 17 internal conflict-affected or war-hit nations. With around 5,000 army personnel, Nepal is the sixth largest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions. Currently, Nepal trails Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan and Rwanda.

Nepal Army Spokesperson Brigadier General Gokul Bhandari told the Post, “The certifications testify that BPOTC meets UN peacekeeping standards. This proves our training is among the best.” Despite 60 years of history in peace missions, Nepal was often criticised for not having a training programme with the UN accreditation.

The BPOTC is one of four Nepal Army units that recently cleared human rights vetting. It was among a dozen units under US government restrictions for human rights violations during the decade-long Maoist insurgency. The Panchkhal-based training centre, where 15-year-old Maina Sunuwar was killed after she was detained and tortured in 2004, was under US restrictions before receiving vetting clearance last year. Soldiers picked Sunuwar from her home in Kharelthok accusing her of links with the Maoist rebels. They killed and buried her inside the training centre. Her body was later exhumed from BPOTC premises.

Bhandari said the clearance of human rights vetting of the US government was a contributing factor in receiving the recognition. The NA had long been lobbying with the UN for the certification. The issue was pushed strongly during Lacroix’s visit to Nepal in the last week of June. After his visit, a monitoring and evaluation team from the peace operation department of the UN inspected the training centre before recommending the recognition.

Published: 25-10-2018 09:20

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