UNITAMS engages police personnel on prevention and investigation of sexual and gender-based violence
40 Police personnel (24 men and 16 women) selected from Family and Child Protection Units, Gender Desks, First Responders, Police Posts including the Police Posts based in Zamzam, Abou shouk and El Salam IDP camps as well as Criminal Justice Departments participated in a workshop on the prevention and investigation of Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV).
The training program, organized by UNITAMS’ Police Advisory Unit between 19 and 22 December 2022 in El Fasher, North Darfur, was attended by participants from all parts of North Darfur State, notably the localities of El Fasher, Dar Elsalam, Melit, El Sareif, Ellaeit, Tawilla, Kabkabiya, Kutum, Kalemendo, Saraf Umra and Tina.
The UNITAMS-facilitated training workshop provided a forum for the participants to discuss issues related to the investigation of SGBV and CRSV crimes and ways to meet international standards. The training also aimed at building participants’ capacity and knowledge and improving coordination among all stakeholders involved in responding to violence-related crimes, which is key to the protection of civilians.
“Through the Police Advisory Unit, the entire United Nations family is working to support the Sudanese Police Force and all other actors involved in the protection of civilians. What is significant about this forum is that all protection actors within the justice chain are part and parcel of this training, and that is the power of partnership,” said Ms. Abimbola Aina, the Head of UNITAMS Regional Office in Darfur. “To make progress towards the prevention of SGBV and CRSV, all community components, including the police, civil society organizations, women’s protection networks, native administrations, and community leaders need to work together harmoniously,” she added.
Participants stressed the need to strengthen the enforcement of the law and to adapt a community-policing approach where security authorities work in partnership with communities to bridge the gap between the civilian population and the Police. They also highlighted the importance of monitoring procedures for cases related to SGBV and CRSV. They further stressed the importance of maintaining the confidentiality and privacy of information about survivors and providing victims with legal aid and psychological assistance.
To better address Sexual Gender-Based Violence and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, participants made several recommendations, including criminalizing sexual harassment and abuse, rehabilitating and equipping forensic laboratories, strengthening the training of police personnel in investigating crimes related to sexual violence, and conducting community awareness-raising activities on the issue.
Government officials, including Eissa Zarouq, a representative of the Governor (Wali) of North Darfur, and Umaima Adam, the Governor’s Advisor for Gender Affairs were present at the workshop and stressed the need to protect women and girls who suffer disproportionately from conflict and outbreaks of violence. Police Brigadier, Saad Mustafa, Head of the Criminal Department of the North Darfur State Police, thanked the UNITAMS Police Advisory Unit for its efforts in bringing together police personnel from across the state to engage in the training and discuss issues related to SGBV and CRSV.
Liu Cao, UNITAMS Police Advisor, addressed the workshop and highlighted that UNITAMS support to both government institutions and communities will continue in different forms to make progress towards preventing and addressing SGBV and CRSV.