UNSOM holds training on sexual and gender-based violence for South West state police officers
Baidoa - United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) is holding a three-day workshop on sexual and gender-based violence and conflict-related sexual violence for police officers to help tackle the vice in South West state.
The workshop, organized in conjunction with the state’s Ministry of Women and Human Rights, is aimed at raising awareness among security officers on the dangers of sexual and gender–based violence (SGBV) and conflict-related sexual violence to peace and security.
The 54 officers attending the workshop will also receive training on human rights and how to protect the civil liberties of vulnerable populations.
Nadifo Armey Abdullahi, the Minister of Women and Human Rights Affairs of South West state emphasized that the training will equip the officers with useful skills to deal with security challenges, while being mindful of the rights of the residents.
“The training focuses on human rights and the way in which law enforcement officers should treat the victims, whether it is sexual based violence against girls or the street children” noted the Minister.
Charles Muwunga Mwebe, UNSOM Human Rights Team Leader in Baidoa, said the workshop aims at strengthening the capacity of the South West police in dealing with crime, while at the same time protecting individual rights.
“Police have a duty to promote and protect human rights, but when it comes to issues of women, we feel that they have a duty to protect the women regardless of where they are.” Mr. Mwebe said.
Aden Musdaf Adan, a participant, echoed Nadifo’s remarks, saying the workshop will help improve the standards of policing in the state.
“We have learned very important lessons including how the police should protect the rights of civilians when dealing with criminals, how to effect arrest and arraign the suspect in court while observing the individual’s rights. We also covered how to take the suspect to the police station without violating his or her rights,” Aden said.
Somalia is in the process of establishing a professional police force capable of maintaining law and order at the both federal and state levels of government. UNSOM is one of the major partners assisting Somalia to establish a strong and reliable security force.