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Department of University Relations

University of Pretoria offers training on policing and law in Somalia

Posted on 22 September 2010

The University of Pretoria's Centre for Human Rights held a training course on policing and international law for 12 members of the Somali Police Advisory Committee (PAC), which is supported by the United Nations Development Programme. The committee is based in the part of Somalia?s capital city Mogadishu that is controlled by the transitional government.

The training session, organised by the UP's Centre for Human Rights, focused on international norms with regard to arrest and detention, conditions of detention and the use of force by law enforcement agencies.

The PAC consists of police officers, prison personnel and members of civil society, and works with community elders in the 16 districts of Mogadishu in monitoring and training of the Somali police force and prison personnel on how to treat detainees with dignity. The PAC also negotiates the release of detainees based on either legal grounds or humanitarian considerations.

The Director of the Centre for Human Rights, Prof Frans Viljoen, said the training provided to the Somali PAC would help them locate their work on growing human rights challenges in an international framework. “We hope that this committee would serve as an independent civilian oversight body, under a constitutional framework. The training highlighted that the Somali PAC should ensure that policing in Somalia conforms with the global minimum consensus which is enshrined in the international human rights treaties,” said Prof Viljoen.

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