The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the United Nations vowed on Tuesday to help develop capacity of the Somali security forces to eliminate all forms of human rights violations.
Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia Francisco Madeira reiterated the urgent need to boost the capacity of the security forces, both at the federal and regional states level, to curb the vice.
"AMISOM is happy to support the Somali national security forces, the regional states and the Federal Government of Somalia to ensure the elimination of all forms of violence against women and children including conflict-related sexual violence," Madeira said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
The AU envoy was speaking at a joint AMISOM-UN trainer of trainers (TOT) meeting on the prevention of conflict-related sexual violence for the Somali national security forces (SNSF), attended by participants from both federal and state governments.
Both the AU and the UN pledged to continue mobilizing resources and providing specialized training to the Somali security forces during the transition period to prepare the officers for the handover of security responsibility.
Madeira described sexual violence as a crime against humanity and violation of women and children's rights, noting that the mission has taken measures to end sexual and gender-based violence by working to prevent its occurrence, facilitating response to incidents and advocating for the availability of resources to meet the needs of survivors.
He said the deployment of women protection and child protection officers to AMISOM is a significant step to ensuring that the security forces and the government of Somalia are supported accordingly.
Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (DSRSG) Peter de Clercq described conflict-related sexual violence as a critical protection concern in Somalia, which needs to be tackled decisively.
"As part of the transition plan, Somali security forces need to be ready and able to address all security issues including human security, hence, understanding how to address conflict-related sexual violence is vitally important," de Clercq said.