The FBA course prepared Idil for her mission in Hebron

When personnel are sent to conflict areas, it is important that they are trained to identify, avoid and manage various risks that may arise. This is exactly what you learn if you take the FBA course on security in the field. “I really recommend the training for everyone about to go on an international mission”, says Idil Jamac who participated in the course ahead of her deployment to Palestine.

FBA deploys civilian experts to international peace operations which Sweden contributes personnel to. The operations are mostly led by the UN, EU and OSCE. But FBA also deploys personnel to TIPH, Temporary International Presence in Hebron, which is a free-standing civilian mission observing and reporting on the situation in the city of Hebron, located in the West Bank in Palestine. TIPH is upheld by five contributing countries, among them Sweden.

Idil travelled to Hebron from the Swedish capital Stockholm, where she originates from, in August 2017 to start work as an observer for TIPH. She is on secondment from the FBA with a one-year contract.
– My colleagues and I work in teams who patrol Hebron in order to observe and report on breaches of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, Idil says.

The patrolling teams work in shifts, seven days a week, because there is always a need for observers to be on duty. They monitor places such as checkpoints, where passersby are inspected by Israeli soldiers.
– We especially monitor checkpoints close to schools, to make sure that children on their way to school can pass by. We also regularly go on patrol in the parts of Hebron where Palestinians live close to Israeli settlers, where skirmishes often take place. We write daily reports about what we see and we share our conclusions with the Palestinian and Israeli authorities.

When Idil started to work for TIPH she took the FBA course “Protection against Risks and Threats in Conflict Areas”, held at Sandö in northern Sweden.
– The training has been very useful for me. I am much more aware of my surroundings after taking the course. I keep track of what is happening around me, especially if I am in a crowd. Avoiding dangerous situations is most important, but I have also learnt how to act if something serious would happen, Idil says.

The security situation in Hebron has worsened recently. When US President Donald Trump publicly recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel it led to violent demonstrations across the West Bank, not least in Hebron.
– It has been really tough. Some Palestinian demonstrators have thrown rocks at Israeli soldiers, and the soldiers have responded with tear gas, sound grenades and rubber bullets, Idil says.
– We, as observers, are always in the midst of the clashes. I have never experienced something like this before. Witnessing all this violence has been very challenging, and of course my colleagues and I have to think carefully about our security.

Not only did the FBA course on security in the field give Idil tools for risk management, the training also provided her with tools for dealing with stress and other emotions caused by her work.
– I really liked that about the training; that it dealt with psychosocial aspects as well. I see how important it is to take care of myself in order to cope.

When Idil recently monitored a demonstration she witnessed people fainting in the crowd.
– Some of the demonstrators collapsed because of the tear gas. All of a sudden I could make use of the medical skills I learnt during the FBA security training.

In 2018 the course “Protection against Risks and Threats in Conflict Areas” will be offered in April, June and October. You can already apply online for the courses in April and June.
– In my opinion, everyone who is about to go on an international mission should take the course. You can benefit from the training even if you are not being deployed to a high-risk area. What I learnt about fire safety, for example, is useful anywhere, Idil says.

She finds it important that TIPH continues patrolling Hebron despite the ongoing clashes, but with appropriate security measures of course.
– When people see us they calm down. Our presence can prevent and reduce violence.

MORE FROM HOME

Somalia to be rebuilt after 20 years of war

Somalia is one of the world’s most conflict-affected states. For over 20 years, the country has been without a functional central government. But international efforts to unite and reconstruct Somalia are underway. Sweden is now set to double its foreign aid to Somalia, and FBA is commissioned to contribute to Sweden’s development cooperation with the East African nation.

2018-07-02 16:25

Read our publications

Image description

Una perspectiva de género en la construcción de la paz

This training manual has been developed to provide an introduction in Spanish to the policy framework on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) and its follow-up resolutions on women, peace and security.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
Gabriela Elroy
Year:
2018

IN THE FIELD

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Ben Rhee

    Action for Peacekeeping: What role for the Challenges Forum?

    On March 28 this year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the UN’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) agenda. At the heart of the initiative lies an urgent call to mobilise support for peace operations, which are increasingly faced with a wide-array of complex challenges.

    Operating in some of the most difficult environments and intractable conflicts on the planet, UN and multilateral peace operations today are dealing with a host of issues and unrealistic expectations by the international community ... Read entire post »

    2018-07-11 10:11
  • Posted by Andreas Berg

    When keeping the peace means keeping your distance

    Summertime in Tbilisi has arrived, carried in on the back of dramatic thunderstorms sweeping in from the Black Sea, pouring down enough rain to transform the steep streets of the old town into short-lived rivers, and leaving daily temperatures slightly higher after every visit. Soon even such weather-driven drama will dissipate however, settling into a steady 35 degree heat during July and August, predictable enough to allow for the planning of cooling hikes in the Caucasus ... Read entire post »

    2018-06-27 14:10
  • Posted by Ludmila Ceban

    Conflict resources and the rule of law

    Over 40 per cent of all intrastate conflicts have a link to natural resources and, while it is not new evidence as such, less than a quarter of peace negotiations actually aim to resolve conflicts by addressing resource management mechanisms. By the same token, links to natural resources are rarely included in the design of peacekeeping operations or even conflict analysis to start with.

    The risks for relapse are furthermore twice as high for conflicts associated with ... Read entire post »

    2018-05-18 14:04
Photo

Stefan Åström

Stefan Åström is expert on Latin America and disarmament of ex-combatants

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

Twitter