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14th International Association of Peace-Keeping Training Centres (IAPTC) conference.

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Nigeria's capital city of Abuja will from Monday play host to more than 150 participants from about 60 countries, who will be attending the 14th International Association of Peace-Keeping Training Centres (IAPTC) conference.

The IAPTC is an organisation of military, police and civilian training institutions involved in the education and training of service personnel in Peace Support Operations.

Ahead of the conference, representatives of top military, police and civilian training institutions across Africa, representing the African chapter of the IAPTC, have arrived in Abuja for this weekend's discussions aimed at finalising details of the proposed African Standby Force (ASF).

Rear Admiral John Jonah, Commandant of the Nigerian Defence College - the host body of the week-long meetings -- told journalists here that issues relating to the setting up of the Standby Force, the deployment of the troops and the training of the Force would be at the centre of the African chapter of IAPTC meeting.

Admiral Jonah said the operational Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the African Standby Force (ASF) and its funding would also be looked at to ensure that the objectives of the Force are met.

"The international conference of Peace-Keeping Centres will be preceded by a meeting of its African chapter, this weekend in Abuja. Thankfully, our patron and former (Nigerian) head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, will be at the meeting. The meeting will focus mainly on the African Standby Force, its deployment, funding, and training. We will also take a critical look at the MOU for the Force.

"At the international meeting, though the conference is open to any organisations or individuals interested in education and training of peace operations, advocacy groups would not be allowed here. It is not a forum for advocacy groups to promote causes or is it an occasion for the addressing of operational issues," he said.

The Canadian and Nigerian governments are jointly funding the international conference.                                

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