The Somali Police Force with support from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) conducted training to equip law enforcement officers and community members with skills to tackle sexual and gender-based violence.
The four-day capacity-building workshop, facilitated by Somali trainers, was concluded on Tuesday in Baidoa, the capital of the South West State. The workshop attracted 70 participants that included youth, women, religious leaders, police officers, and government officials.
Sexual and gender-based violence especially against women and girls remains an issue of concern in Somalia, due to the long conflict that has led to the displacement of communities and weakened the rule of law. AMISOM continues to support the restoration of peace and security in Somalia and strengthening the capacity of the police and communities to combat sexual and gender-based violence.
The workshop aimed to sensitise participants on their roles in responding to and preventing sexual and gender-based violence. The facilitators examined topics that included gender in the context of Islam, the Somalia Penal Code sections on sexual abuse, among other issues.
The AMISOM Gender Officer, Stella Maranga, said the training would help to promote women’s rights and encourage communities to address violations against women.
“The project aims to disseminate the sexual violence response framework developed by AMISOM. It aims to ensure the community is engaged in the prevention and response to sexual violence,” said Maranga.
One of the facilitators, Farhiya Ahmed Mohamed, a police gender officer, urged participants to share knowledge acquired and support the promotion of human rights in Somalia.
“I hope the participants return to their respective areas of work and get to share the knowledge and skills acquired with their colleagues,” said Farhiya.
Inspector of Police Florence Alupo, the AMISOM Gender Officer stationed in Baidoa, said, “We want participants to understand issues related to gender violations and gender-based violence. They will then be able to respond to such cases when they encounter them.”
She pointed out that AMISOM had capacitated the Baidoa police station’s gender desk to handle cases related to gender-based violence.
Fadal Abdullahi Mursal, a participant, hailed AMISOM for the support in organising the training and requested for more capacity-building opportunities for the police and community.
“We welcome this training and ask for more such opportunities,” said Fadal, adding that such trainings would empower the public to address challenges that they confront daily.