The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said Thursday it has launched a training program on human rights for Somali security forces to enhance their compliance with international human rights law.
Kareem Adebayo, AMISOM's head of the protection, human rights, and gender unit, said the week-long training will focus on child rights and the dangers of recruiting children as soldiers in armed conflict.
"Central to those mandates is the fact that AMISOM should discharge its mandate with due respect to the International Human Rights Law and the applicable International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and key to this is that children will not be used as fighters in Somalia, either by AMISOM or by Somalia security forces," Adebayo said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
The training will be attended by officers from the Somali National Army (SNA), the Somali Police Force (SPF), the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) and line ministries, both from the federal and states governments.
The training, which is being conducted in accordance with the constitutional provisions of Somalia and AMISOM's mandate from the African Union and the United Nations, comes as the implementation of the Somalia Transition Plan takes center stage.
"The training reflects the Somali government's commitment to upholding the policy that children belong to the school and deserve a peaceful and conducive learning environment," Warsame Mohamed Hassan, director general in the ministry of defense, said.
The AU mission has intensified training programs on human rights to prepare Somali security forces to assume the country's security responsibility in accordance with the dictates of the Somalia Transition Plan and UN Security Council resolution 2431 of 2018.
The UN resolution calls for a reduction of uniformed personnel and increased the presence of AU police in the country to support the expansion and maintenance of law and order as security responsibilities are transferred to Somali security forces.