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Twelve MONUSCO military focal points trained in the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse in Bunia

Twelve MONUSCO military focal points trained in the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse in Bunia. Photo : MONUSCO/Archives

Bunia, October 30, 2019 - The Training and Refresher Seminar for Military Focal Points of MONUSCO Force, which opened on Tuesday, October 29, ended last Wednesday.

For two days, 12 military officers, including two women, revisited the United Nations Code of Conduct, and in particular the military Code including the 10 rules to be observed by the United Nations military personnel and the Secretary-General's "zero tolerance" policy with regard to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA).

Organized by MONUSCO Conduct and Discipline Team in Ituri (CDT), the training is the result of one of the recommendations from the "Force Commander's Guidelines" calling for SEA military focal points to be trained or re-retrained every six months.

It is for this reason that these military officers representing the different contingents of the North Sector of MONUSCO Force based in Ituri met in Bunia.

Deborah Barugahara of MONUSCO Conduct and Discipline Section in Ituri said during the two-day training, participants were reminded of their crucial role in preventing sexual exploitation and abuse within their contingents, the goal being to achieve zero case of sexual abuse among the contingents.

The Commander of North Sector of MONUSCO Force in Ituri General Chowdhury Mohammed A. H. wrapped up the training session, reminding everyone the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ declaration "we shall not tolerate anyone who commits or condones sexual exploitation and abuse. We shall not let anyone hide these crimes under the United Nations flag. Let's make zero tolerance a reality.’’ Within MONUSCO, the issue is being treated with the utmost attention.

In addition to sensitization in the local communities and internally, the Mission remains uncompromising vis-à-vis the personnel (both civilian and military) who do not comply with this zero-tolerance policy as advocated by the UN Secretary General and relayed by his Special Representative in DRC.