AMISOM trains Formed Police personnel on civilian protection

Kismayo(SONNA)-The African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, has conducted training for its formed police personnel to help them understand established guidelines that protect civilians as they perform their duties.

Twenty five police officers from the AMISOM Sierra Leone Formed Police Unit, FPU, attended the three-day training held in Kismayo, Jubaland State of Somalia.

The AMISOM Protection Officer, Gloria Jaase, said the training was to build the police personnel’s knowledge and skills on the need to protect civilians in peace support operations.

“This training seeks to remind our commanders of their obligations to protect civilians while they undertake operations in Somalia,” she said.

It covered aspects of International Human Rights frameworks relating to the rights of women and children, prevention of conflict-related sexual violence, sexual exploitation and abuse.

The AMISOM Human Rights Officer, Kahbila Mbuton said, “the training ensures the FPUs are able to protect civilians in line with the AMISOM mandate, and in compliance with Human Rights protection standards.”

The AMISOM police coordinator for Jubbaland State, CP Stephen Yeje, said the trainees had gained valuable understanding to effectively perform their roles.

“The workshop is a reminder of our duty as peacekeepers to protect vulnerable people including women, children and the disabled. In that light, the training examined human rights with emphasis on the rights of women and children. We have gained knowledge on the roles we can play as Formed Police to ensure the protection of civilians,” said CP Yeje.

The deputy contingent commander of the Sierra Leone Formed Police Unit, ASP Agnes Murray, said the knowledge would guide the officers in performing their duties.

“The training guides us on our responsibilities to observe the rights of people we protect. We operate in collaboration with civilians and the Somali police to ensure peace prevails,” said ASP Murray.

Ms. Jaase said the outcome of the training would benefit the trainees and the community they serve. “This will benefit the civilians because the mandate of AMISOM as a peace support operation includes the need to protect civilians,” noted Jaase.

Kahbila stated that the civilian protection training would enable the Formed Police Unit personnel under AMISOM to strengthen their relations with the community.

“We have reminded the participants of AMISOM’s mandate to ensure they protect civilians and uphold and comply with the set standards,” said Kahbila.

Source: Somali National News Agency