Rwanda’s Chief of the Defense Staff (CDS), Gen. Patrick Nyanvumba has said that against women and girls is still a challenge to security organs which calls for training and understanding between security organs to devise mechanisms of combating the crime on the continent.
Nyamvumba said this while launching the continental Command Post Exercise (CPX) code-named “Africa Unite”, campaign to end violence against women and Girls where he said that one of the solutions is collective intervention.
According to the CDS, apparently violence and crimes against women and girls are still weapons used in conflict areas.
The five – day workshop which was organized by the Rwanda National Police, Rwanda Defense Forces and the Rwanda Correction Services brought together participants comprising of heads of security organs from 38 African countries.
The participants are expected to train and discuss mechanisms of ending violence against women and girls on the continent.
One-UN-Rwanda Resident Coordinator, Lamin Momodou Manneh, who attended the launch of the exercise, said apart from the obvious physical and emotional toll violence exerts on women and girls, “It is destabilizing and dehumanizing for families and communities.”
He said the crime also has economic costs to the societies and countries. Lamin Momodou Manneh quoted a World Bank report indicating that the crime costs countries up to 2% loss on GDP as a result of medical costs and productivity losses.
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, in 2008, launched a campaign named Africa UNiTE, purposely to fight violence against women and girls on the continent.
In May, Ki-Moon was in Rwanda to lay a foundation stone for the construction of the continent’s anti-Gender Based Violence secretariat dubbed “Africa’s Centre for Security Organs Coordination of Action to end Violence against Women and Girls (AFSOCCA-VAWG).
The facility will be constructed at the Rwanda National Police headquarters.
Ki-Moon said the centre will coordinate efforts of Africa’s security organs to fight against gender based violence, which constitutes a “new hope for women and girls still suffering in the continent’s conflict-torn regions.”
A total of 172 participants from 54 African countries, who include security personnel and participants from Governmental and Non Governmental Organizations, are in attendance.