AMISOM trains officers to combat conflict-related sexual violence
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has conducted an awareness training for its military personnel in Dhobley, southern Somalia, to protect civilians against conflict-related sexual violence and mainstream gender into their operations. The three-day training organised by the AMISOM Force Headquarters Gender Office, in collaboration with the AMISOM Protection, Human Rights and Gender (HRPG) cluster, took place on 11 October and was attended by about 175 AMISOM servicemen and 35 officers. The AMISOM Gender Officer, Maj. Patricia Musendo, AMISOM Protection Officer, Ms. Gloria Jaase-Nkundanyirazo, and AMISOM Head of Security Sector Reforms, Hamouda Mohammed Kanu, facilitated the training. The training aimed to orient AMISOM personnel on issues related to gender concepts, sexual abuse, and exploitation, prevention of conflict-related sexual violence, gender mainstreaming, sexual exploitation and abuse, and security sector reforms. “The officers and men were eager to learn about issues related to gender, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse and conflict-related sexual violence and security sector reforms,” noted Maj. Musendo. Ms. Nkundanyirazo, in her presentation, highlighted the role of AMISOM in protecting women, children, and internally displaced persons. She also sensitised the military personnel about AMISOM’s role in preventing conflict-related sexual violence and AMISOM’s zero-tolerance policy to sexual exploitation and abuse. According to Hamouda Mohammed Kanu, the Head of the Security Sector Reforms, the training was a prerequisite for AMISOM personnel. Lt. Mwanaisha Mahu, the AMISOM Gender Officer, expressed hope that the participants would apply the acquired knowledge to support the mission in fulfilling its mandate. “I hope the lessons will have a positive impact on our soldiers and officers and enable them to perform their day-to-day duties,” said Lt. Mwanaisha.