AMISOM has trained 60 offices belonging to the Somali security forces in the prevention of recruitment and use of child soldiers in the ongoing onslaught against the Al Shabaab. The two-week program was supported by the British government and the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, through the Dalhousie University of Canada.
Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira, the Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia, said: “We should spare these children from being recruited into radicalism, from being recruited into committing acts of violence against their people, against their own country and their neighbors.”
The issue of child soldiers has been a concern for a lot of non-governmental organization who blame both sides of the conflict for failing to protect the children and instead subjecting them to committing atrocities. The government sent representatives to the program to prevent the child from being recruited as well as finding ways to rescue those already in the al Shabaab.
Mr. Musa Gbow, AMISOM’s Child Protection Advisor, said that “The purpose of the training was to pre-select potential trainers who in turn will be trained sometime in October during a Training of Trainers session so that they can continue to propagate the message and train their counterparts across the country.”
The training is part of the exit strategies that AMISOM has been putting up to ensure that the gains achieved by the mission are sustainable even after the forces withdraw from Somalia.