AMISOM launches training programme on human rights for Somali Security Forces

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has launched a training programme for officers of the Somali National Security Forces to improve their level of compliance with the International Human Rights Law.

The training, which aims to enhance security officers’ knowledge on human rights issues, will be implemented in the five federal member states.

The first course was held in Mogadishu, where 30 officers from the Somali National Army (SNA), the Somali Police Force (SPF), the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), line ministries and the federal member states, were taken through a set of international laws and instruments on human rights.

“This programme is part of the collective effort by the United Kingdom and its partners to support the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the federal member states, to ensure compliance within the Somali National Security Forces (SNSF), with international human rights, norms and standards,” British Deputy Ambassador to Somalia, Mary Shockledge, said during the closing of the three-day human rights training course.

Ms. Shockledge noted that the programme was in line with the recently approved AMISOM Concept of Operations, which identifies training of SNSF on human rights as one of the key activities to be undertaken during the transition period.

Stressing the strong connection between human rights and stability, the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) for Somalia, Simon Mulongo, urged SSF to uphold human rights when dealing with civilians.

“We have to show the Somali people that we offer greater hope and therefore cannot be compared to terrorist groups who prefer anarchy and lawlessness,” said Mr. Mulongo.

The DSRCC urged the participants to share the knowledge acquired with their colleagues in the federal states.

Commenting on the outcome of the training, AMISOM Human Rights Expert, Ulrike Kahbila Mbuton, said the participants resolved to organize a similar training in their communities and places of work.

“This training has helped build our capacity. It has come at the right time when we are preparing to take over the security responsibility of our country and that means we have to comply with human rights,” said Mohamed Abdulmalik Mohamed, one of the participants.

His colleague, Anab Mohamud Osman, urged AMISOM to extend the training to other parts of the country to increase the number of human rights trainers in the security forces. The three-day training organized by AMISOM was funded by the British Embassy in Somalia.

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