The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) on Tuesday launched a special regional training facility that will help in the speedy management of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) cases.
During the ICGLR summit held in Kampala in 2011, Uganda offered to host the facility whose total cost for the first pilot phase of three years amount to $5,491,302.
The centre will train and sensitise judicial officers, police units, social workers medical officers and other categories of people who handle cases of sexual violence in the Great Lakes region.
Uganda’s Gender Affairs minister Mary Karooro Okurut, said the centre will enhance the capacity of officials in collection of evidence to prosecute SGBV suspects.
Okurut noted that reporting of SGBV cases in the region has been minimal due to victims fearing to suffer trauma from society.
“At times, these cases take long in courts and some victims die without ever getting justice. But with this facility, those beasts (rapists) out there, should know that their time is up,” she said.
Nathan Byamukama, the ICGLR programmes officer, said BODE technologies is finalising modalities with ICGLR to provide DNA evidence-based technology for easy prosecution of suspects.
“It has been hard to fight SGBV cases. We shall now ensure that treating SGBV victims is professionally done to deter any further harm to the victims,” said Diana Ofwono, the Country Representative of the UN Women organisation, which has injected another $50,000 in furnishing the facility.
Shem Bageine, Uganda’s Ministry of East African Community (EAC) affairs, said the EAC is in the process of extending the jurisdiction of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) to handle crimes against humanity.
Among its functions, the facility will develop and maintain a SGBV knowledge and evidence based database, curricula, and training materials, an expert database,and an active network of experts and professional who handle SGBV cases in the region.