Justified Accord brings experts together at Women, Peace and Security course

NAIROBI, Kenya — When Zambian Army Capt. Suwilanji Tembo arrived in Central Africa as a part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission, she saw the impact that war has on women and children with her own eyes.



By 1st Lt. Katherine Sibilla U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa Nairobi, Kenya Feb 29, 2024
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NAIROBI, Kenya — When Zambian Army Capt. Suwilanji Tembo arrived in Central Africa as a part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission, she saw the impact that war has on women and children with her own eyes.

At Justified Accord 2024, held in Kenya from Feb. 26 to Mar. 8, Tembo and joint service members from 23 partner nations learned about the importance of, and tools for implementing, Women, Peace and Security initiatives.

“When I was on the ground, I saw that it was real,” Tembo said. “I saw women suffering, children getting pregnant, and boys getting recruited into militias.”

The U.S. strategy on Women, Peace and Security aims to integrate women's perspectives and participation in conflict prevention, resolution and recovery processes. Experts conclude that women and children are disproportionately affected by war and conflict, so these vulnerable populations must be considered in inter-planning aspects before, during and after conflicts.

In Central Africa, Tembo was introduced to the concept of WPS while working as a UN peacekeeper. Here in Nairobi, she had the opportunity to sharpen her skills and add to her base knowledge. Most of all, Tembo gets to bring the information she learned back home to Zambia.

“I want to go back and show my unit what I’ve learned, and also be part of the team that trains Soldiers before they go on a mission,” said Tembo.

By the end of the course, Soldiers received baseline knowledge and the confidence to engage their leadership from a gender-based perspective, influencing decision-making processes that impact operations.

For U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Andrea Pangrac, a WPS instructor and logistics air advisor with the 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron, 621st Air Mobility Advisory Group, the course was successful in building a foundation for WPS and strengthening relations between partner nations.

“We want to help each other out by sharing the knowledge of Women, Peace and Security,” Pangrac said. “Our security objectives will be strengthened because we're considering a much larger perspective and we’re incorporating vulnerable populations in operation planning.”

Exercise content can be found on the official Justified Accord DVIDS feature page.

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