ECOWAS force to be educated on stopping sexual abuse
Heads of ECOWAS Centres of Excellence for training in Peace Support Operations (PSO) have agreed to make sexual exploitation and abuse a priority subject in the training of the regional standby force personnel over the next two years.
They said this at the end of their twoday meeting in Abuja last week.
The ECOWAS Designated Training Centres of Excellence (TCEs) and Training Institutions (TIs) both noted that such training will equip the force with the requisite knowledge and respect for international standards on handling sexual subjects.
The meeting also agreed to support civilian participation in the joint ECOWAS/US AFRICOM training, code named “Exercise Western ACCORD14” to be held in Senegal in June this year.
Participants at the training noted that civilian participation in the exercise and in the African Union field training “Exercise AMANI AFRICA II” coming up in Lesotho in October/November 2014 would help improve the multidisciplinary skills of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF).
They urged ECOWAS and the training Centres to ensure gender balance in the distribution of slots for courses in line with the UN Security Council Resolution and to enhance the capacity of the region in Peace Support Operations.
The meeting, which was attended by Commandants and Directors of TCEs/ TIs, among others, discussed ways of enhancing technical and operational cooperation between the ECOWAS Commission and selected PSO Training Institutions.
Addressing the opening ceremony, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman commended the TCEs/TIs for contributing to the success of Exercise Western ACCORD12 and 13 and various courses conducted in 2012/2013.