A four-Day Training of Trainers (ToT) Workshop on Conflict Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) meant to build the capacity of the contingents of the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG) has commenced in Banjul, The Gambia.
The exercise put together by the ECOWAS Commission in collaboration with Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), aimed at providing the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) with skills as trainers on how to prevent, deter and protect civilians (men, women, boys and girls) during armed conflicts and Peace Support Operations (PSOs).
Addressing participants during the Workshop the ECOWAS Permanent Representative in The Gambia Mrs. Vabah Gayflor, enthused that the training of ECOMIG forces in The Gambia will serve as a test case and example for similar training for security personnel across the region.
Noting the timeliness and importance of the workshop for building the capacity of ECOMIG forces on CRSV, she thanked the Government of Sweden for partnering with ECOWAS to organize the Workshop while recalling Sweden’s role in supporting the Government of Liberia’s development of its first National Action Plan for the United Nations Security Council Resolution on Women Peace and Security (1325) during her tenure as Minister for Women Affairs for Liberia.
The Swedish Ambassador The Gambia and with concurrent accreditation to The Gambia, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, Mrs. Maria Leissner recalled the Feminist foreign policy of the Swedish Government and stressed that women inclusion in solution programs was key to the attainment of sustainable peace.
She lauded the ECOWAS’ outstanding record in the peace and security domain and reiterated the commitment of the Government of Sweden in continuing its support to the Commission, in sustaining stability in the sub-region.
The Chief of Staff of the ECOWAS Standby Force Major General Usman Yusuf, noted that the workshop, was organized after a ToT for the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau in 2019. He implored the participants to dedicate necessary attention to the training content as they will be expected to train other personnel on the subject matter.
FBA’s Project Manager, Regional Development Cooperation Strategy with Sub-Saharan Africa Mrs. Helen Wilandh, provided the context of the existing partnership between ECOWAS and FBA through the framework of Sweden’s regional development cooperation strategy which covers the period of 2016-2021.
She expressed her hope that the training will have a positive impact on the mandate of ECOWAS in strengthening the agenda on women, peace and security in the region.
Also, on hand at the workshop were the ECOWAS Commission’s Head, Political Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Onyinye Onwuka, the Program Officer, Training and Evaluation Col. Charles Nandi Bi, the J4 Strategic Movement Grp. Capt. Samuel Benjamin Offei as well as the Program Officer, ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF). Mrs. Sa’adatu Shuaibu.
The Training Workshop is part of the ongoing efforts of the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security to strengthen the capacity of the ECOWAS Missions on the overall protection of civilians and the mainstreaming of the relevant international frameworks on Women Peace and Security in its operations.