Twenty-five officers from the Somali Police Force drawn from various parts of the country began a five-day training course on the prevention of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Mogadishu.
The UN-sponsored training opened today and will acquaint the officers with different ways of handling sexual and gender-based violence.
The Somali Police Force Deputy Commissioner Gen. Bashir Abdi Mohamed officially opened the workshop.
“We must not accept for anyone to be physically abused. We have laws and values that we must uphold. The so-called traditional period is over; we have to understand and be pragmatic about it. I want you to be ambassadors in upholding the values of policing,” said Gen. Mohamed.
The UN Development Programme’s Head of Governance and Rule of Law in Somalia, Franco Sanchez, said the UN was committed to working with the Somali police to investigate SGBV cases. The training will focus on the collection of evidence in cases of Sexual and Gender-Based violence and interviewing techniques required to obtain critical information from victims.
“The officers will learn how to collect evidence, how to interview the victims and how to respond to them. They will also learn methodologies on questioning among others,” explained Mr. Sanchez.
A police officer from Jubbaland state, Captain Mohamed Abadir Ahmed, said he would share knowledge gained from the training with other colleagues to reduce the incidence of such cases.
“We came all the way from Kismaayo to Mogadishu in order to gain knowledge on SGBV. Since the police are tasked to protect lives and property, this gender-based violence training will enable us to stop the violence and also protect the most vulnerable members of the society from such abuse,” Captain Mohamed said.
Another participant from Galmudug state, Mandeeq Abdullahi Aden, appealed to fellow police officers to be proactive in curbing cases of gender based violence.
“Abuse against women is widespread and I cannot list them all here, but I want to practice the knowledge that I gain from this seminar in my area of operation, so that women and children are protected from sexual and gender-based violence and other abuses,” Mr. Aden stated.
UN police advisers are closely working with the Federal Government of Somalia tocounter SGBV through such training workshops, and a similar workshop will be held in Mogadishu for another group of Somali Police Force officers next week.