By: Darin Reeves

After two weeks of in-class training and education at the Humanitarian and Peace Support School (HPSS) located in Embakasi, Kenya, including two days conducting live-action simulations of interactions with children and child soldiers, course participants from AMISOM and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) concluded their program on Friday and are now prepared to assist with ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Somalia. This training, conducted by the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative in partnership the British Peace Support Team (East Africa) (BPST-EA) was immensely successful and is the first training of its kind to be delivered specifically for AMISOM and Somalia.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Kareem Adebayo as the representative of the AMISOM SRCC thanked the Dallaire Initiative and representatives of the UK, noting that both had come from so far away in order to assist the children of Somalia. He went on to describe that this course was very intensive and very practical and that this is exactly what he and the SRCC wanted. “This training is very important to ending the cycle of violence in Somalia, and protecting Somali children.”

Colonel Leakey, commanding officer of BPST-EA also expressed his appreciation, remarking on the partnership between AMISOM, BPST-EA and the Dallaire Initiative as an excellent example of a new atmosphere of cooperation. “By protecting Somali children, we will greatly help this vulnerable group – the sooner we break the cycle of violence plaguing Somalia, the sooner we can help return Somalia to peace.” In particular, he noted that a portion of the course training had been viewed personally by Her Excellency Ms. Sara Hradecky, the Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya, which was demonstrative of Canada’s commitment to the region and to the safety of children.

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