MOGADISHU, Somalia – A group of Ethiopian national defense forces [ENDF] deployed to the AU forces was trained in human rights protection, a course offered amid claims that the contingent is involved in human rights violations in Somalia.
The 25 soldiers completed a two-day training on Thursday in a move aimed at reducing cases of violence against civilians in the war-torn country that has been fighting for stability for the past three decades following the ouster of General Siad Barre.
The training, which ended on Thursday, is part of AMISOM’s efforts to ensure that deployed personnel acquire knowledge and comply with international frameworks on human rights and humanitarian law, AMISOM said in a statement.
Kareem Adebayo, Head of Protection, Human Rights and Gender Group for AMISOM, urged officers to apply the acquired knowledge and skills to carry out their duties. He said human rights protection is a fundamental virtue of mission troops.
“I hope you will leave this training better equipped for aspects of protection, human rights and gender issues,” Adebayo said, adding that the soldiers will be required to impart knowledge to fellow soldiers in the force.
Adebayo, representing Ambassador Francisco Madeira, head of AMISOM, praised the officers for participating in the training, reflecting a commitment to protect human rights in Somalia.
Participants learned about Somali culture and gender in peacekeeping operations, the role of gender contacts, protection of women from sexual and gender-based violence, and conflict-related sexual violence, AMISOM added.
Others included international humanitarian law and gender; key tasks in civil-military cooperation (CIMIC), introduction to AMISOM civilian accident detection and analysis and response cell (CCTARC).
A human rights officer for AMISOM, Ulrike Kahbila Mbuton, reiterated the mission’s commitment to ensuring full compliance with international human rights law. Due to disruptions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, AMISOM has had to include online training to ensure continuity in the implementation of the mission’s mandate.
Ethiopian troops control sectors IV and VI of AMISOM in Somalia and are credited with flushing Al-Shabaab from Mogadishu. However, there have been allegations that Ethiopia issued a non-AMISOM contingent in Somalia, accused of serious human rights violations.