Salone News

Workshop for Army Officers Concluded

3 June 2007 at 03:02 | 170 views

In its continued efforts to strengthen the capacity of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), UNIOSIL in collaboration with UNDP and UNIFEM have concluded a three day sensitization training for middle career officers mostly women with a view to consolidating peace and security in the country, consistent with resolution 1325 (2000) of the United Nations Security Council.

The workshop which was held from 30 May to 1 June, was aimed at acquainting middle level personnel of the Armed Forces with human rights principles, and in particular on matters relating to gender based violence, employment, marriage, property and child rights. During the three day period, they familiarized themselves with the mandate and planned activities of the newly established National Human Rights Commission, the rights of civilians as well as the responsibilities of peace keepers in conflict situations.

The three day training of trainers programme was also geared towards sensitizing the officers the key principles of human rights and their role in protecting and promoting these rights especially in times of conflict. The officers will share the knowledge acquired with those under their respective command.

Addressing the participants, the Assistant Chief of Defense Staff, Brigadier M.A.Sesay said the training is intended to equip the officers with knowledge that will empower them to deliver quality service in their respective disciplines. He stressed that capacity building is top most on the agenda of the RSLAF and the cornerstone that will ensure the development of the force.

The Assistant Chief of Defense Staff disclosed that he was thrilled that the training was focused specifically on gender, human rights and democracy because women are very important in society. He said though women form a small percentage of the total RSLAF personnel there are female officers with senior positions in the army and the numbers of female recruits are growing. “The current batch of officers that are currently in training at the Benguema Training Camp has the highest number of female recruits in the history of RSLAF,” he said.

Brigadier Sesay went on to add that the RSLAF has made it a policy to give equal opportunity to all its personnel in terms of training and other benefits. “We do not discriminate in the army. We operate an open door policy that is why our recruitment is transparent as we give equal chance to both men and women”.

The Assistant Chief of Defense Staff responsible for Personnel and Training, Komba S. Mondeh commended the United Nations for their initiative in targeting female officers for the training which he believes will not only improve women’s capacities, but also improve the RSLAF as a whole.

Source:UNIOSIL, Freetown.