ECOWAS force to be ed­u­cated on stop­ping sex­ual abuse

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Romoke W. Ah­mad

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.

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