Mogadishu 24th October 2022-Somali Police Force (SPF) officers are attending a 10-day refresher course to boost their knowledge and skills on Sexual, Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and Child Protection to enhance the protection of women and children against all forms of abuse.
One hundred female police officers, drawn from the Banadir region, which encompasses Mogadishu, are attending the training, organized by SPF, with the support of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), police component.
SPF Deputy Police Commissioner, Brigadier General Zakia Hussein Ahmed, on Sunday said the training is timely and in line with recent reforms in the SPF and capacity-building initiatives.
“This is part of our efforts as the SPF leadership to ensure that our police force adheres to international conventions that the Federal Government of Somalia has signed,” Brig. Gen. Zakia explained in an interview.
Brig. Gen. Zakia noted that the training will be extended to other regions, to enable SPF officers better handle cases of SGBV and child abuse, given the recent spike in cases in the country.
“We have started to see an increase in cases of GBV, child abuse and child trafficking, and this is primarily because of the prevailing drought and famine in the country, but also the ongoing operations against the Al-Shabaab in the regions, where a lot of children are being kidnapped,” she noted.
According to Brig. Gen. Zakia, the liberation of new territories following the recent military offensive against the Al-Shabaab by Somali security forces, supported by ATMIS and local communities in central Somalia, had brought to the fore new and disturbing cases of child abuse.
The ATMIS Police Gender Officer, Superintendent of Police (SP), Besta Sini, noted that the training is in line with the ATMIS police mandate to train and mentor the Somali Police Force.
“This is part of the individual capacity building support that ATMIS is providing to the Somali Police Force to capacitate the SPF in handling these sensitive cases of SGBV and child abuse,” SP Sini explained.
The officers are being trained on a number of modules including SGBV, handling and investigation of SGBV, child protection and child abuse, human rights and conflict-related sexual violence and other thematic topics.
Police Constable (CP) Deeqo Isman Mahamud, one of the participants said, the training would enhance her understanding of SGBV and child protection issues which will help her to discharge her duties, especially in the protection of women and children from abuses.