The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has concluded a training for 30 police officers from the Southwest State of Somalia, to enable them to effectively enforce laws that protect women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and stem the crime.
Organized by the AMISOM police component, the training attended by 6 female and 24 male officers, drawn from various police stations in Baidoa, the Administrative capital of Southwest State, focused on children rights, aspects of child protection and how to handle children who come into conflict with the law, among other issues.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Ireen Shaunduba, the Southwest State Gender Coordinator for AMISOM police noted that SGBV usually affects vulnerable and minority members of the community.
The training, ASP Shaunduba added, was important in promoting women and child rights and in encouraging police officers to effectively address violations that may be reported to them.
“We sensitized the Somali police officers on the dangers of sexual gender-based violence, and on what to do, once they receive a report of gender sexual-based violence. They have also been trained on what to teach the community about gender sexual-based violence,” ASP Shaunduba said.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Sylvester Kabaso, the Southwest State AMISOM Police Coordinating Officer, noted that they had identified the need for the training and was optimistic that the local police will use the skills acquired to address issues of SGBV in their community.
“This training on how to manage cases of sexual and gender-based violence is very important. It is aimed at enhancing the capacity of members of the Somali Police Force as they discharge their duties. It will enable them to sensitize their communities about the effects of sexual and gender-based violence,” said Kabaso.
The Southwest State Police officers noted that the training will benefit them, given that the knowledge and skills gained will come in handy as they discharge their daily Duties.
“This training will enhance our knowledge and skills and we will pass the insights we learned to the community because we have gained important lessons. There are many things that we did not know before, but we are better prepared to manage GBV cases,” said Halima Jim’ale Aden, a female police officer.
AMISOM police regularly conducts capacity building training for the Somali Police Force in line with the Somalia Transitional Plan (STP), as part of wider efforts aimed at building the operational and institutional capacity of Somali National Security Forces, ahead of AMISOM’s anticipated exit. Similar training will be conducted in Kismayo, Beletweyne and Mogadishu.