Posted on August 7, 2018
The defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, has announced that Britain’s first specialist army training team is being set up to help tackle sexual violence and the use of female suicide bombers in some of the world’s most dangerous countries. The expert unit will be deployed in the coming weeks to east Africa where the Islamist terror group Al-Shabaab has launched brutal attacks on the civilian population and military peacekeepers have sometimes struggled with local cultural sensitivities. The team, which will include female British soldiers, will work on helping local forces understand that, while child soldiers may pose a threat, they are victims of any conflict and have rights, including the chance of a normal life. At first it will operate in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, which the minister visited last week to see training taking place, but could later expand to Nigeria to help tackle Islamist militants Boko Haram, which has kidnapped hundreds of girls.