Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Thirty police officers from the Ghana Formed Police Unit of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) have completed a five-day training focused on protecting children’s welfare in armed conflict.

Hosted in Baidoa, the administrative capital of Southwest State, the training was led by the ATMIS Protection, Human Rights, and Gender (PHRG) Cluster in collaboration with the African Union Compliance and Accountability Framework (AUCF), Baidoa Civilian Sector Coordination Team, and the African Union Police Headquarters.

The participating officers from the Ghana Formed Police Unit (FPU), were taken through international and regional legal frameworks on child protection, sexual and gender-based violence, and the vital role of peacekeepers in mitigating the impact of armed conflicts on vulnerable groups. Gender mainstreaming and monitoring and reporting mechanisms were also addressed.

The Senior Protection and Human Rights Officer for ATMIS, Gloria Jaase, said the training was significant in fulfilling ATMIS’s mandate.

“The African Union mandates that child protection issues are integrated into all stages of peace support operations because children are the most vulnerable group in armed conflict situations.”

She said it was important to build the capacity of police officers in the Mission area and also include Somali youths in matters peace and security.

“One of the key highlights of the training is the Agenda on Youth, Peace, and Security, which is important in including young people in peace and security matters in Somalia,” she added.

The Senior Case Management, Processes, and Database Officer for ATMIS at the AUCF, Ferdinand Nintunze, underscored the importance of conducting such trainings for all components in the African Union peacekeeping mission.

“This basic training is important for all African Union peace support operations personnel, including those from the military, civilian, and police components. The knowledge gained can be applied in peace support operations and in their respective home countries,” he said.

The Ghana FPU Logistics Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Rejoice Dogbe, described the training as timely and relevant, providing the officers with the necessary knowledge to understand and execute the Mission’s mandate.

“This training will not only help me in my duties to protect children’s rights in the Mission but also back at home,” said DSP Dogbe.

Corporal Elvis Osei-Tutu expressed satisfaction with the training and thanked ATMIS for organising the course.

“We’re grateful to ATMIS for empowering us on the necessary frameworks on protecting children’s rights in conflict areas,” noted Corporal Osei-Tutu.

The training in Baidoa, marked the end of a three-months exercise targeting 120 personnel from all the four ATMIS Formed Police Units to promote the protection of children in armed conflict.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

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