With the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Lesotho’s security sector comprising the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS), Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) and the National Security Service (NSS) engaged in a four- days Human Rights training, facilitated by the United Nations Human Rights Specialist, Ms. Rebaone Ferguson and SADC Security Expert, Colonel Webster Simwanda.
This training was part of the UN support to the on-going National Reforms dialogue processes which call for the transformation of the security sector into a professional service. It provided knowledge of Human Rights and equipped participants with the tools to enable them use these human rights standards and norms, t in their work and promote enhanced compliance with international obligations.
The Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and National Security Mr. Ts’eliso Mokoko noted that security agencies sometimes find themselves violating Human Rights in an attempt to prevent and fight crime and in performing their duties. Mr. Mokoko said it is therefore important that the security agencies’ officers are receiving the Human Rights training as it will assist them to always remember not to violate the human rights of civilians.
In her opening remarks, the UNDP Resident Representative a.i, Ms. Christy Ahenkora explained that the training is a training of trainers’ session which will see the trainees going further to train their colleagues. She said that it is an important milestone that has been led by the security sector task team comprised of members from the mentioned agencies and oversight ministries and commended the team
“In addition to the fact that Human Rights is a legal and ethical imperative, it is also a practical requirement in the security sector so that it can reap benefits that advances their objectives whilst at the same time, building a security structure that does not rely only on fear and power but rather on honour, professionalism and legality”, noted Ms. Ahenkora.
The national reform processes are facilitated by the UN Peace Building Fund financed Lesotho National Dialogue and Stabilisation Project (LNDSP) being implemented by UNDP and capacity building of Lesotho’s Security Sector is one of the major areas of support of the project.