AU concludes human rights and SGBV training for South West State Police
The police in the South West State of Somalia have completed an intense 12-day Training of Trainers (ToT) course, to enhance their knowledge on International Human Rights Law (IHRL) and the protection of women and girls from Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV). Twelve Police officers, who included eight male and four female officers, drawn from various police stations in South West State attended the training, conducted by the police component of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which concluded on Wednesday in Baidoa, the Administrative capital of South West State. “They should be able to know how to handle SGBV cases, they should know how to treat women and children, they should know how to relate with the public in order not to breach their fundamental rights” said Acting AMISOM Police Coordinating Officer in Baidoa, Superintendent of Police (SP) Bisong Ejue. During the training, the police officers were taken through some important topics that included the rights of women and children, and human rights protection. AMISOM Police Gender Officer in Baidoa, Inspector of Police (IP) Trilla Ngonzi, explained that the training is intended to build the capacity of the police in the region to prevent sexual and gender based violence within the community. “When I look at the zeal the students have, I am contented that they are going to pass on this information to other police officers, who will in turn pass on the information to the public and we shall be able to use the public to fight against SGBV, to fight for the rights of the children and as well the human rights of everybody,” said IP Ngonzi. It is expected that the police officers will be able to share and train their colleagues at their respective police stations, so that they can integrate issues of human rights and protection of women and girls, as they discharge their duties. One of the participants, Mohamed Hassan Mukhtar, noted that the course was beneficial and will enable them to discharge their duties effectively. “It was really an important course for us. It focused on how to protect the human rights of civilians. One of the lessons we were taught was how to investigate and prosecute perpetrators in such cases (SGBV cases), and how to prevent such cases from occurring in the community. We were also taught how to protect the rights of women, children and how we can pass on the lessons we learned to our counterparts. It was really an important course for the police force,” Hassan explained.