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Activities since 1996 to promote international humanitarian law in African countries and organizations

31-05-1998

(Document drawn up by the International Committee of the Red Cross for the information of OAU Member States which are party to the 1949 Geneva Conventions)

Contents:

    I. ACTIVITIES IN AFRICAN STATES  
    II. COOPERATION WITH AFRICAN ORGANIZATIONS THAT ALSO PROVIDE ADVISORY SERVICES TO AFRICAN STATES  
 

    

    

 THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS AT THE SERVICE OF THE STATES  

To ensure that international humanitarian law (IHL) is complied with, practical steps must first be taken at the national level. The responsibility for this rests with the States party to the 1949 Geneva Conventions for the protection of war victims and to Additional Protocols I and II of 1977. These treaties place the States under a clear obligation not to wait for war but to adopt in peacetime all the legislative, regulatory and administrative measures required to ensure full compliance with the rules of IHL.

The promotion of national measures for the implementation of IHL is a constant concern of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and receives sustained attention at International Conferences of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. In December 1995, the Conference recommended that the ICRC should step up its support for the States in this area and that the States should set up national committees on international humanitarian law.

The ICRC acted upon these recommendations by setting up its Advisory Service on international humanitarian law .

The aim of the Advisory Service is to secure the widest possible participation by the States in the humanitarian law treaties. This means, above all, helping them to set up a legal and regulatory framework which will meet the requirements of the treaties and promote their effective implementation. To this end, the Advisory Service, whether upon request or on its own initiative, supports action taken by the authorities in this area and provides technical assistance. The Service works closely with the relevant civilian and military authorities, taking account of their specific needs and of the political and legal system of the State concerned. The Service involves both the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and academic institutions in its activities and maintains contacts with other organizations concerned.

The present document is a survey of activities conducted since 1996 to promote the implementation of international humanitarian law in African countries and organizations.

  The information contained in the present document is based on the sources presently available to the ICRC and is not exhaustive.  

 
 

 I. ACTIVITIES IN AFRICAN STATES  

 ALGERIA  

 1. 1997: first assessment of the topic  

1.1 An internal study on the problems of implementing international humanitarian law and, in particular, integrating the provisions of international law into domestic legislation was conducted by a local legal adviser with a view to submitting specific proposals to the authorities concerned.

 BENIN  

 1. 1996: assessment of national legislation relating to IHL; support to the Red Cross of Benin; legal assistance to the government  

1.1 A contact mission and initial assessment were carried out in February 1997 by the Advisory Service regional coordinator based in Abidjan. In this context, a local lawyer was selected and assigned to conduct a study on the extent to which international humanitarian law has been incorporated into Benin's national law. The relevant authorities were approached with a view to setting up an interministerial committee, a measure to which the government has agreed in principle.

1.2 Technical assistance was given to the Red Cross of Benin in its efforts to secure the adoption of a law on the use and protection of the red cross emblem in the Republic of Benin.

1.3 Support in the form of a course plan and IHL books was provided for the teaching of international humanitarian law, a subject which has been on the curriculum of the law faculty for four years.

1.4 The ICRC encouraged the authorities to ratify the 1980 UN Weapons Convention.

1.5 Initial approaches were made to the authorities with a view to establishing an interministerial committee on international humanitarian law.

 2. 1997: organization of a national seminar; legal assistance provided to the government and support to the Red Cross of Benin  

2.1 A national seminar on the dissemination and implementation of international humanitarian law was held in Cotonou on 17 and 18 June 1997. It brought together parliamentarians and senior civil servants representing the President, the Prime Minister, the ministries concerned, civil society, the bar and the law faculty. The seminar recommended, inter alia , that an interministerial committee on international human itarian law should be established in Benin.

2.2 The Advisory Service regional coordinator conducted a follow-up and technical advice mission in October 1997, providing the authorities concerned with legal assistance and the documentation required for the implementation of the recommendations adopted on the occasion of the national seminar held on 17 and 18 June 1997.

2.3 The Human Rights Director of the Ministry of Justice took part in the First regional meeting of committees or other national bodies for IHL of African countries (Abidjan, 12-13 August 1997). The aim of the meeting was to enable government experts and representatives of the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies of countries having embarked on the process of establishing a national body for IHL to exchange experiences and points of view on the national implementation of this body of law and the mechanisms set up for this purpose.

 3. 1998: establishment of the Interministerial Committee on IHL; finalization of the draft legislation on the emblem and the revision of the Penal Code  

3.1 Follow-up and technical advice mission in February 1998. During the course of this mission, the authorities concerned adopted the draft decree on the establishment of the " Interministerial Committee for the implementation of IHL in Benin”. The wording of the draft legislation on the emblem was finalized and is to be submitted to the parliament. Consultations took place on the training and appointment of legal advisors within the Benin armed forces. Support in the form of documentation and advice was provided for the IHL teaching staff at the University and the Ecole nationale d'administration .

 CAMEROON  

 1. 1996: assessment of national legislation relating to IHL; support to the Cameroon Red Cross Society and promotion of IHL teaching at university level  

1.1 In July 1996, a contact mission and initial assessment were carried out by the Advisory Service regional coordinator based in Abidjan. Technical assistance was furnished to the ICRC regional delegation in Yaoundé for promotion of national measures for the implementation of IHL and completion of the study then under way on the extent to which IHL has been incorporated into the law of Cameroon.

1.2 Technical assistance was given to the Cameroon Red Cross Society for its representations to the government regarding the setting up of an interministerial committee for IHL.

1.3 A representative of the Cameroon Red Cross Society took part in the Meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of international humanitarian law (Geneva, 23-25 October 1996).

1.4 Discussions continued with the administration of Douala University with a view to introducing a course on IHL into the curriculum of the law faculty.

 2. 1997: adoption of a law on the emblem by parliament; follow-up and support mission to the ICRC regional delegation in Yaoundé and the Cameroon Red Cross Society; finalization of the study on Cameroon national law  relating to IHL  

2.1 The parliament adopted a law on the " use and protection of the red cross emblem " (Law No. 97-2 of 10 January 1997, published in the official Gazette of the Republic of Cameroon, 31st year, No. 2, 1 February 1997).

2.2 The Director of Legal Affairs of the Prime Minister’s Office and a representative of the Cameroon Red Cross took part in the First Regional Meeting of African interministerial committees for IHL (Abidjan, 12-13 August 1997).

2.3 In the course of a mission to renew contacts and provide technical advice, in October 1997, technical discussions were held with the authorities concerned on the setting up of an interministerial committee for IHL. The study on national legislation relating to IHL was finalized. The officials of the Cameroon Institute of International Relations and the Douala faculty agreed to promote IHL teaching at university level.

 3. 1998: organization of a national seminar on the implementation of IHL  

3.1 A national seminar on the implementation of IHL in Cameroon was held in Yaoundé on 12 and 13 March 1998. It was chaired by the Minister of Justice and attended by representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Public Health, Education, Defence and Territorial Administration. Representatives of the university, the bar and national human rights institutions also took part in the work of this important seminar, which permitted a consensus to be reached on the setting up of an interministerial committee and on the legislative, regulatory and practical measures which still need to be adopted in order to reinforce the implementation of IHL in Cameroon.

 CONGO , Republic of

 1. 1997: contact established and initial assessment of the topic  

1.1. A contact mission and initial assessment were carried out in March 1997. In this context, steps were taken to try and find a local lawyer to conduct a study on the extent to which international humanitarian law has been incorporated into Congolese national law.

2. A national seminar on the implementation of IHL in the Congo, intended for both the civilian and military authorities, was organized for November 1997. Unfortunately, it could not be held because of the situation prevailing in Brazzaville.

 CONGO , Democratic Republic of (former Zaire)

 1. 1996: contact mission and initial assessment  

1.1 During the contact mission and initial assessment carried out in July 1996 by the Advisory Service regional coordinator based in Abidjan, a local lawyer was selected and assigned to conduct a study on the extent to which IHL has been incorporated into national legislation.

1.2. The ICRC made a statement on the implementation of IHL at the Symposium on the application of the international conventions on human rights and humanitarian law by the courts of Zaire , held from 16 to 18 July 1996.

 2. 1997: approaches halted because of the situation prevailing in the country  

 3. 1998: contacts with the Constitutional Commission  

3.1 In March and April 1998, the representatives of the ICRC met the first vice-president of the Constitutional Commission and had an exchange of views and information on the preliminary draft of the Constitution and the progress of work in this connection.

 COTE D'IVOIRE  

 1. 1996: Advisory Service established at regional level; study carried out on the conformity of national legislation with IHL; organization of a national seminar on IHL implementation; promotion of IHL teaching at university level; preparation of a questionnaire on IHL implementation; contacts with the authorities  

1.1 In February-March 1996, contact visits were paid to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Defence and Security in order to promote national implementation of IHL.

1.2 A questionnaire was prepared which has served as a basis for studies on the extent to which IHL has been incorporated into national law in some fifteen African countries.

1.3 A local lawyer prepared a study on the extent to which IHL has been incorporated into national law. The document, the contents of which have been approved by the government, may be consulted at the documentation centre of the ICRC Advisory Service on IHL.

1.4 A seminar on implementing IHL in the Côte d'Ivoire was held in Abidjan on 1 and 2 August 1996. It was attended by senior representatives of the government and parliament, members of the National Society and representatives of academic circles and other areas of civil society. The seminar provided an opportunity to examine national legislation and reach a consensus both on the establishment of a national body for the implementation of IHL and on what remains to be done in this connection in the country.

1.5 On 2 5 October 1996 the President issued Decree No. 96-853 setting up a national interministerial committee for the implementation of international humanitarian law in Côte d'Ivoire. This new body has since held several ordinary meetings, at which it adopted its rules of procedure, prepared a draft law on the emblem and gave new impetus to efforts to promote knowledge of IHL in the country, including teaching at university level.

1.6 An outline for a university course on IHL has been prepared, which is widely used at African universities. The course has been introduced into the curriculums of three universities in Côte d'Ivoire (Abidjan, Bouaké and Daloa).

 2. 1997: IHL teaching in universities; first regional meeting of interministerial committees for IHL of the African countries; drawing up of draft legislation on the emblem; consultations with regard to the cooperation agreement between the ICRC and the government  

2.1 A course on IHL for civil servants was inaugurated in May 1997 at CIREJ (the Ivoirian Centre for Legal Research and Studies).

2.2 CIREJ and the law faculty were provided with a reference library on IHL.

2.3 The First regional meeting of committees or other national bodies for IHL in African countries as held in Abidjan on 12 and 13 August 1997. This regional meeting represented an important juncture in the establishment of national bodies for the implementation of IHL in Africa. It enabled the participants to share experiences on the role, composition and activities of national committees involved with IHL.

2.4 The Côte d'Ivoire national interministerial committee on IHL held a number of meetings devoted to the preparation of draft legislation on the protection of the emblem, th e revision of the country's penal code and the conclusion of an agreement between the ICRC and Côte d'Ivoire.

2.5 The Judge and Under Secretary for Criminal Affairs and Pardons took part in the Meeting of experts on national measures to repress violations of IHL (Geneva, 23-25 September 1997).

 3. 1998: support provided to the national interministerial committee on IHL; continuation of contacts with the government; preparation of summary report on the first regional meeting of African interministerial committees  

3.1 Preparation of a summary report on the First regional meeting of committees or other national bodies for IHL in African countries. The report will be made available to all African States and to national interministerial committees already in existence or in the process of establishment.

3.2 Information seminar on IHL and the ICRC’s methods of intervention organized for the authorities in the prefectures by the ICRC regional delegation in Abidjan and the Ministry of the Interior. The seminar was held in Yamoussoukoro from 23 to 25 March 1998.

 EGYPT  

 1. 1996: first visit and assessment  

1.1 In March 1996, a first contact mission and initial assessment were carried out by the Advisory Service legal adviser based in Amman. This mission helped promote national implementation measures with the authorities concerned and led to the selection of a consultant to carry out a study on the extent to which IHL has been incorporated into Egyptian national law. Written representations were made to the authorities with a view to the establishment of a national interminist erial committee on the implementation of IHL.

1.2 A follow-up mission was conducted in November 1996 and contacts on the subject were made with the National Society. The Advisory Service legal adviser undertook the preparation of a study on the compatibility of Egyptian law with international humanitarian law.

 2. 1997: completion of the study on the compatibility of Egyptian law with international humanitarian law and preparation of a round table on national implementation  

2.1 The study carried out by the ICRC legal adviser on the compatibility of Egyptian law with IHL was completed. To permit an exchange of views on this study with the authorities concerned and to prepare a seminar to discuss its contents, the legal adviser conducted a mission to Cairo from 25 November to 4 December. This mission allowed the necessary contacts to be made with the various authorities with a view to organizing a round table on the subject.

2.2 Participation in the VII Congress of the Egyptian Society for Penal Law on the international criminal court. The ICRC legal adviser based in Amman presented a paper to the Congress on the subject of the repression of breaches of international humanitarian law.

 3. 1998: national seminar on the implementation of IHL (2-3 March 1998)  

3.1 The seminar was organized by the Egyptian Red Crescent Society in close cooperation with the ICRC. The representatives of the various ministries concerned with IHL took an active part in this meeting, which conc luded with the adoption of specific recommendations for implementation at national level.

 ETHIOPIA  

 1. 1996: assessment of national legislation; organization of a national seminar on IHL implementation  

1.1 A contact mission and initial assessment were carried out in May 1996 by the Advisory Service regional coordinator based in Abidjan. The authorities concerned were urged to take national implementation measures and a consultant was selected to carry out a study on the extent to which international humanitarian law has been incorporated into Ethiopian national law.

1.2 The above-mentioned study has since been completed. The resulting document, accompanied by an official contribution from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been sent to the Advisory Service documentation centre, where it may be consulted.

1.3 A national seminar on the implementation of IHL in Ethiopia   was held in Addis Ababa on 28 and 29 November 1996. It was attended by senior representatives of the government, the judiciary and parliament, members of the Ethiopian Red Cross Society and representatives of academic circles and other areas of civil society. The seminar provided an opportunity to study official documents analysing national legislation and to reach a consensus on the advantages for Ethiopia of establishing a national committee to spread awareness of existing national laws and measures and to fill any gaps that may remain in the realm of humanitarian law.

 2. 1997: establishment of a national committee for IHL; promotion of IHL teaching at university level; provision of legal assistance to the government  

2.1 Following the above-mentioned seminar, a National Advisory Committee for International Humanitarian Law was established in February 1997. The committee, which is chaired by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, is composed of representatives of the various government ministries, a representative of parliament, the University of Addis Abeba and of the Civil Service College, as well as the Ethiopian Red Cross Society. The role of the committee is to advise the government on a permanent basis with regard to all measures which need to be taken in order to implement IHL in Ethiopia.

2.2 The ICRC legal delegate in Addis Ababa conducted a follow-up of the November 1996 national seminar with the authorities concerned. To this end, he had several meetings with the members of the national committee for IHL to provide them with support in drawing up its rules of procedure and plan of action.

2.3 A mission was conducted in July 1997 by the Advisory Service regional coordinator based in Abidjan to follow up the above-mentioned seminar and to support the ICRC delegation in Ethiopia in pursuing related activities.

2.4 The director general for legal matters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took part in the First regional meeting of committees of other national bodies for IHL in African countries (Abidjan, 12-13 August 1997).

2.5 A course on IHL was introduced in the law faculty six years ago. Steps are being taken to extend university level teaching of IHL to post-graduate schools for the training of senior state officials, on the basis of the course outline prepared by the Advisory Service.

2.6 Support was provided for the teaching of IHL i n the University and the Ethiopian Civil Service College.

2.7 An Ethiopian lawyer took part in the Meeting of experts on national measures to repress violations of IHL (Geneva, 23-25 September).

 3. 1988: continuation of measures to support the government in the implementation of IHL  

3.1 The legal adviser based with the ICRC in Addis Abeba continued his contacts with the members of the National Advisory Committee for IHL in order to provide them with technical support and information with regard to the drawing up of its plan of action.

3.2 In the context of numerous meetings held between January and April 1998 with a legal adviser of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the question was raised of Ethiopia signing the 1980 UN Weapons Convention and ratifying the Ottawa treaty on the prohibition of anti-personnel mines. On these occasions and at the request of the Ethiopian authorities, the ICRC legal adviser provided information and some technical advice on this question.

 GHANA  

 1. 1996: assessment of Ghana’s national legislation with regard to IHL; organization of a national seminar on the implementation of IHL; follow-up and technical advice mission with the government  

1.1 A contact mission and initial assessment were carried out in Accra during April 1996 by the official responsible for the Advisory Service in Africa. During the mission, a local lawyer was selected to conduct a study on the extent to which IHL has been incorporated into the national law of Ghana.

1.2 A national seminar on the implementation of international humanitarian la w in Ghana was held in Accra on 26 and 27 August 1996. It brought together senior representatives of the government, the judiciary, parliament, the academic community and other areas of civil society, including members of the Ghana Red Cross Society. The seminar provided an opportunity to study the extent to which IHL has been incorporated into national law. The participants agreed on the need for legislation to incorporate the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols into Ghanaian law and for the establishment of a national interministerial committee. The foundations for such a committee were laid during the proceedings.

1.3 The President of the Ghana Red Cross Society and a colonel acting as legal adviser to the armed forces took part in the Meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of international humanitarian law (Geneva, 23-25 October 1996).

 2. 1997: contacts with the government pursued; preparation of a Geneva Conventions Act; support for IHL teaching at university level  

2.1 A mission to establish contacts and to follow up the conclusions of the national seminar was carried out in February 1997.

2.2 Advice and technical assistance were provided to the Ghanaian authorities in their preparation of a draft Geneva Conventions Act .  

2.3 The law faculty of the University of Accra accepted the outline for a course in IHL prepared by the Advisory Service. A member of the faculty received specialized training in Abidjan during the first half of 1997.

2.4 A reference library on IHL was provided to the law faculty of the University of Accra.

2.5 Written representation s were made to the authorities regarding ratification of the 1980 UN Weapons Convention.

2.6 The Director for Legal Affairs, General Staff Office, Ministry of Defence, took part in the First regional meeting of committees or other national bodies for IHL in African countries (Abidjan, 12-13 August 1997).

 3. 1988: finalization of the Geneva Conventions Act; support for university teaching of IHL; encouragement for Ghana to become bound by the IHL treaties  

3.1 The Advisory Service regional coordinator based in Abidjan carried out a follow up and technical advice mission from 11 to 14 February 1998. During this period, the draft Geneva Conventions Act was finalized and it should soon go before parliament. Consultations took place with the authorities with regard to Ghana becoming bound by the IHL treaties, including the Ottawa Convention.

3.2 An advanced training course for the teaching of IHL at university level was organized from 2 to 10 April for two lecturers of the Accra faculty of law.

 GUINEA  

 1. 1996-1997: contacts with authorities on the establishment of an interministerial committee; ratification of IHL treaties  

1.1 The ICRC wrote to the authorities, urging them to set up an interministerial committee for the implementation of IHL.

1.2 The ICRC approached the authorities orally and in writing to promote the adoption of the 1980 UN Weapons Convention by Guinea.

 2. 1998: continuation of contacts with the authorities; renewed efforts to promote the implementation of IHL in Guinea  

2.1 Launch of a study on the national law of Guinea relating to IHL.

2.2 Continuation of contacts with the authorities with a view to the establishment of a national interministerial committee for the implementation of IHL and the official registration of the IHL course at the University.    

 KENYA  

 1. 1997: regular contacts with governmental authorities  

1.1 The regional delegation in Nairobi kept in regular contact with the Kenyan authorities concerning ratification of the Additional Protocols, a subject also discussed with Kenyan government representatives in Geneva.

1.2 By mutual agreement between the ICRC and the Attorney General’s chambers, a senior government official spent two weeks with the ICRC's Legal Division in Geneva, the aim being to prepare an advisory opinion for the competent authorities on the ratification by Kenya of the Additional Protocols of 1977.

1.3 A Kenyan lawyer was assigned by the ICRC to carry out a study of national legislation relating to IHL, with a view to organizing a seminar on this topic at a later stage.

 2. 1998: promotion of the teaching of IHL at university level  

2.1 Approaches were made to universities and institutes with a view to including a course on IHL in the curriculum.

 LESOTHO  

 1. 1997: contacts with authorities and first assessment; national seminar on the implementation of IHL  

1.1 As a result of contacts between Lesotho government representatives and the ICRC regional delegation in Pretoria, a two-day seminar on national measures for the implementation of humanitarian law was held in Mahale's Hoek in March 1997. The seminar was organized jointly by the Lesotho Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ICRC and was attended by legal experts from a number of government ministries, the armed forces and academic circles. It examined existing measures in Lesotho and adopted detailed recommendations identifying areas for further action. A legal adviser of the ICRC Advisory Service attended this seminar.

 MALAWI  

 1. 1996: first assessment; study on conformity of national legislation with IHL  

1.1 On the basis of discussions with the ICRC regional delegation in Harare, the Law Commissioner of Malawi undertook a detailed study of national implementation measures.

 2. 1997: mission of the Advisory Service legal adviser; round-table on implementation of IHL  

2.1 In February 199 7, the Advisory Service's legal adviser on common-law countries paid a brief visit to Malawi, where he held detailed discussions with the Law Commissioner.

2.2 The ICRC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs jointly organized a round-table meeting at the Ministry of Defence, attended by representatives of various ministries responsible for the implementation of humanitarian law. Discussions focused in particular on the possibility of holding a more comprehensive national seminar on the subject later in the year.

2.3 The study on the implementation of IHL in Malawi has been completed and may be consulted at the ICRC Advisory Service documentation centre.

 MALI  

 1. 1996-1997: promotion of implementation of IHL in Mali; assessment of national legislation; follow-up mission and technical advice to the authorities and to the Mali Red Cross  

1.1 Written representations were made to the authorities, urging them to set up an interministerial committee and adopt legislation on the emblem.

1.2 Discussions took place with a view to preparing a seminar on national implementation measures to be held in Bamako in February 1998.

1.3 Technical assistance was provided for the teaching of IHL at Bamako Univer sity.

1.4 A contact visit was paid in May 1997 by the Advisory Service regional coordinator based in Abidjan. He urged the authorities to draft legislation for the protection of the emblem and to work for the amendment of national penal law in order to guarantee repression of war crimes and other violations of IHL. Discuss ions were also held on the establishment of an interministerial committee and on the selection of a local lawyer to conduct a study of Malian national legislation.

 2. 1998: completion of the study of Malian legislation; organization of a national seminar on the implementation of IHL; revision of the penal code; introduction of an IHL course in the University  

2.1 The study on national legislation in Mali has been completed and is available for consultation at the Advisory Service documentation centre.

2.2 A national seminar on the implementation of IHL in Mali was held on 19 and 20 February 1998. The seminar brought together representatives of the various ministries concerned, the bar, human rights associations, the University and the Mali Red Cross. A consensus emerged on the establishment and tasks of a national interministerial committee for IHL, which would be in charge of the implementation of IHL.

2.3 An optional course on IHL was opened at the University at the beginning of the 1997-1998 academic year.

2.4 A new penal code was drawn up to take into account the requirements of IHL with regard to the repression of violations of this body of law. The draft code was adopted by the National Assembly and now awaits promulgation by the head of state. The Advisory Service regional coordinator and the lawyer of the Bamako delegation held talks with the Ministries of Justice and of Armed Forces and Veterans on a new code of military justice.

 MOZAMBIQUE  

 1. 1996: first contact and assessment  

1.1 Early in 1996, a contact mission to promote the adoption of national measures was carried out by the ICRC's regional delegate based in Harare.

1.2 A search was initiated for a local lawyer to carry out a study on the extent to which IHL has been incorporated into Mozambique’s national law.

 2. 1997: finalization of the study on the conformity of national law with IHL; national seminar on the implementation of IHL  

2.1 The study on the implementation of IHL in Mozambique has been completed and may be consulted at the Advisory Service documentation centre.

2.2 A national seminar on the implementation of IHL was held in Maputo from 18 to 20 March 1997. It was attended by the Minister of Justice, senior officials of all the government ministries, representatives of the armed forces and security services, members of the Mozambique Red Cross Society, academics and other representatives of civil society. The seminar provided an opportunity to examine the extent to which IHL has been incorporated into national legislation and to make important recommendations on action which still needs to be taken in this connection. The participants reached a consensus regarding the establishment of an interministerial committee for IHL.

2.3 The regional delegate based in Harare carried out a follow-up mission on the recommendations of the seminar.

 NAMIBIA  

 1. 1995-1996: first contacts; national seminar on the implementation of IHL  

1.1 A contact and assessment mission was carried out by the ICRC regional delegate at the end of 1995.

1.2 A national workshop on the implementation of IHL was held in Windhoek from 20 to 23 February 1996. It was attended by the Minister of Justice in person, other senior government officials, representatives of the armed forces and security services, as well as members of the Namibia Red Cross and academics. The seminar provided an opportunity to study and assess Namibian national legislation in the context of IHL and to identify measures that should be taken to ensure its implementation at national level. The participants recommended that the Interministerial Technical Committee on human rights and humanitarian law should specify its responsibilities vis-à-vis that body of law and asked the Advisory Service to give a legal opinion on what is required to ensure implementation.

1.3 The chairman of the Interministerial Technical Committee on human rights and humanitarian law took part in the Meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of international humanitarian law (Geneva, 23-25 October 1996).

 2. 1997: mission of the Advisory Service legal adviser  

2.1 Pursuant to the recommendations of the February 1996 seminar, the Advisory Service legal adviser responsible for common-law countries visited Namibia for one week in February 1997. He held detailed discussions with officials of the Ministry of Justice on the drafting of a law providing for the implementation of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols. He also took part in a meeting of the Interministerial Technical Committee on human rights and humanitarian law and discussed implementation issues in bilateral meetings with representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Home Affairs and Higher Education and with the Attorney General’s office.

2.2 The Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Chairman of the Interministerial Technical Committee on human rights and humanitarian law took part in the First regional meeting of committees or other national bodies for IHL in African countries (Abidjan, 12-13 August).

2.3 Technical support was provided for the preparation and publication of a Namibian Geneva Conventions Act.

 3. 1998: follow-up mission to the government  

3.1 Meetings were held with the Ministries of Defence and Justice and with the law faculty of the University in order to encourage the adoption of specific measures for the implementation of IHL and promotion of knowledge of this body of law in the armed forces.

 NIGERIA  

 1. 1996: assessment of national legislation relating to IHL; organization of a national seminar on the implementation of IHL; follow-up mission and technical assistance to the Nigerian Red Cross Society; promotion of IHL teaching in universities  

1.1 A contact and assessment mission was carried out in April 1996 by the Advisory Service regional coordinator based in Abidjan.

1.2 The delegate carried out a second assessment mission in June 1996, during which a local lawyer was selected and authorized to conduct a study on the extent to which IHL has been incorporated into Nigerian national law.

1.3 After completion, this study was forwarded to the Advisory Service's documentation centre, where it may be consulted.

1.4 A national seminar on the implementation of IHL in Nigeria   was held in Lagos on 13 and 14 August 1996. It brought together some 80 participants representing the Nigerian President, the federal ministries, the General Staff of the Nigerian armed forces, academic circles and other areas of civil society. The seminar adopted a comprehensive programme of action, to be followed up by the ICRC regional delegation in Lagos, the Nigerian Institute for International Affairs and the Nigerian Red Cross Society.

1.5 The Secretary General of the Nigerian Red Cross Society attended the Meeting of experts on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of international humanitarian law (Geneva, 23-25 October 1996).

1.6 A mission to follow up the recommendations of the seminar was carried out in November 1996.

1.7 Steps were taken to promote the teaching of IHL in higher education establishments and post-graduate schools where future members of the judiciary and civil service are trained. Steps were also taken to introduce the course on international humanitarian law at the National Institute for Political and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).

 2. 1997: promotion of IHL teaching at university level; continued legal assistance to the government; publication of a work on IHL implementation in Nigeria  

2.1 A training workshop for instructors in international humanitarian law at Nigeria's 30 universities was held in Abuja on 23 and 24 April 1997 with a view to promoting acceptance of that body of law i n Nigeria and ensuring that it is taught effectively.

2.2 Written and oral representations were made to the relevant authorities to encourage Nigeria to become bound by the 1980 UN Weapons Convention.

2.3 Consultations were pursued with the authorities to advise them on a number of subjects under study (draft decree on the establishment of an interministerial committee for international humanitarian law, texts regarding the incorporation of the two Additional Protocols of 1977 into Nigerian law, ratification of the 1980 Weapons Convention and amendment and updating of legislation for the protection of the red cross and red crescent emblems).

2.4 The Secretary General of the Nigerian Red Cross Society took part in the First regional meeting of committees or other national bodies for IHL in African countries (Abidjan, 12-13 August).

2.5 A work on the implementation of IHL in Nigeria was published by the Lagos r egional delegation with the support of the ICRC Advisory Service.

 3. 1998: continuation of legal assistance to the government  

3.1 A follow-up contact mission was carried out in April 1998 by the Advisory Service regional coordinator based in Abidjan. The Nigerian government was provided with legal support.

 SENEGAL  

 1. 1996: assessment of national legislation relating to IHL; organization of a national seminar  on the dissemination of IHL  

1.1 In April 1996, a contact mission and initial assessment were carried o ut by the Advisory Service regional coordinator based in Abidjan. In the course of that mission a local lawyer was selected and assigned to conduct a study on the extent to which IHL has been incorporated into Senegalese legislation.

1.2 A seminar on IHL was held in Dakar on 8 May 1996. It was attended by senior government representatives, members of the Senegalese Red Cross Society and representatives of academic circles. The seminar's final report laid special emphasis on the importance of " nationalizing " humanitarian law and there was strong support for the setting up of an interministerial committee of experts.

 2. 1997: follow-up mission and technical advice; steps to establish an interministerial committee on human rights and IHL  

2.1 A mission to follow up the seminar's recommendations was carried out from 2 to 8 March 1997 by the Advisory Service regional coordinator based in Abidjan.

2.2 The Senegalese authorities agreed in principle to expand the terms of reference of the Interministerial Committee on Human Rights then being formed to cover IHL.

2.3 In March 1997, a course on IHL was inaugurated at Dakar University.

2.4 From 3 to 14 March, the first training course in IHL was held for members of the emerging interministerial committee and for representatives of the various government ministries, the bar and other areas of civil society.

2.5 A seminar on the implementation of IHL in Senegal was held in Dakar on 7 May 1997. It was attended by representatives of the prime minister’s office   and of the various ministries concerned. The seminar provided an opportunity t o assess Senegalese national legislation, to observe the progress made in the implementation of IHL in Senegal and to draw up a plan of action for the national interministerial committee on human rights and IHL.

2.6 Following the above-mentioned seminar, the Interministerial Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law was formally established by Decree No. 97.674 of 2 July 1997. The committee is competent to deal with all matters relating to the dissemination and teaching of IHL and the adoption of national implementation measures in Senegal.

2.7 The Deputy Secretary General of the Interministerial Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law took part in the First regional meeting of committees or other national bodies for IHL in African countries (Abidjan, 12-13 August).

2.8 The Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal took part in the Meeting of experts on national measures to repress violations of IHL organized by the ICRC (Geneva, 23-25 September).

 3. 1988: organization of the 2nd training course in IHL  

3.1 From 5 to 13 March, the second training course in IHL was held for members of the Interministerial Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, representatives of the various government ministries, the bar and other areas of civil society.

 SOUTH AFRICA  

 1. 1996: contacts with the government; support of the government in its efforts to implement IHL  

1.1 In early 1996 the President of the ICRC addressed a reception hosted by the South African ambassador to mark Human Rights Day. On this occasion, he stressed the importa nce of implementing humanitarian law.

1.2 A South African delegation attended the   Experts'Meeting on committees or other bodies for the national implementation of international humanitarian law (Geneva, October 1996).

 2. 1997: ICRC legal assistance to the government pursued  

2.1 An Advisory Service legal adviser visited South Africa in February 1997 to establish contacts with the relevant government departments and ascertain the current situation regarding the implementation of humanitarian law. Meetings were held with representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Justice with a view to holding a national seminar on implementation later in the year and also the possibility of establishing a national committee for IHL.

2.2 A representative of the South African government took part in the First regional meeting of committees or other national bodies for IHL in African countries (Abidjan, 12-13 August).

2.3 In the course of numerous meetings with representative of the various government ministries, the ICRC representatives provided information and technical advice on the role, composition and possible activities of a future national committee for IHL. The representatives of the South African government informed the ICRC of their intention to establish such a body.

 3. 1998: continued support to the government  in terms of legal advice and information  

3.1 In February 1998, an Advisory Service legal adviser met two representatives of the South African Department of Foreign Affairs. Topics discussed on this occasion include d the question of South Africa becoming bound by the IHL treaties not yet ratified, the adoption of a law incorporating the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols into national legislation, the establishment of a national IHL committee and other actions to implement IHL in the country.

 SWAZILAND  

 1. 1997: first contacts and assessment; round-table on IHL implementation  

1.1 Contacts were established between the ICRC's regional delegation in Pretor ia and Swaziland government officials in order to promote national measures for the implementation of IHL.

1.2 An Advisory Service legal adviser conducted a mission to Swaziland in February 1997. In this context, the ICRC representatives had meetings with the Acting Under Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and with legal advisers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the office of the Attorney General.

1.3 A one-day national seminar on the implementation of humanitarian law was held in Maseru in February 1997. This meeting, organized jointly by the Baphalali Swaziland Red Cross Society and the ICRC, brought together legal experts from a number of government departments, the armed forces, the police and the Red Cross. It studied the existing implementation measures in Swaziland and made recommendations for the establishment of a standing interministerial committee on IHL, the adoption of appropriate legislation for the implementation of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols and more extensive teaching of IHL to the defence forces.

 TANZANIA  

 1. 1997 : contact mission; selection of a local lawyer to carry out a study of national legislation relating to IHL  

1.1 Contacts were made with the authorities concerned with regard to participation in the humanitarian treaties and the adoption of national measures for the implementation of IHL.

1.2 A local lawyer was assigned to carry out a study on the extent to which national legislation conforms to IHL, the aim being to organize a regional seminar on this question.

1.3 In October 1997, the ICRC organized a training session in IHL for the judges of the International Criminal Court for Rwanda.

 TOGO  

 1. 1996: assessment of national legislation relating to the implementation of IHL; organization of a national seminar on IHL; follow-up mission and technical advice  

1.1 A first contact mission and initial assessment were carried out in April 1996 by the Advisory Service regional coordinator based in Abidjan. In the course of the mission, a local lawyer was selected and assigned to conduct a study on the extent to which international humanitarian law has been incorporated into Togolese law.

1.2 A national seminar on the implementation of IHL in Togo was held in Lomé on 17 and 18 September 1996. It was attended by senior representatives of the main government ministries and parliament, by judiciary officials, members of the Togolese Red Cross and representatives of academic circles and other areas of civil society. The seminar provided an opportunity to study the extent to which IHL h as been incorporated into national legislation. A consensus was reached on steps to be taken to strengthen the implementation of IHL in Togo.

1.3 A mission to follow up the recommendations of the seminar and to renew contacts with the authorities was carried out in November 1996 by the Advisory Service regional coordinator.

 2. 1997: technical assistance to the government pursued; creation of a national interministerial committee on IHL; preparation of draft legislation on the protection of the emblem; promotion of the teaching of IHL  at university level  

2.1 A similar mission to that of November 1996 was carried out by the same delegate in February 1997.

2.2 Technical assistance was provided for the preparation of draft legislation on the emblem, the follow-up with the authorities to be ensured by the Togolese Red Cross.

2.3 Following agreement in principle by the relevant authorities, further steps were taken towards the establishment of an interministerial committee on IHL.

2.4 Technical assistance was provided for the teaching of IHL at the University of Togo. In future, the course will be based on the Advisory Service outline. A teaching plan has already been included in the curriculum of the Ecole nationale d'administration in Lomé.

2.5 A reference library on IHL was provided for the Lomé law faculty.

2.6 The study on the incorporation of IHL into national legislation was finalized and sent to the Advisory Service's documentation centre, where it may be consulted.

2.7 A representative of the Ministry of Justice took part in the First regional meeting of committees or other national bodies for IHL in African countries (Abidjan, 12-13 August).

2.8 The Advisory Service regional coordinator carried out a follow-up and technical advice mission in October 1997.

2.9 A national interministerial committee for the implementation of IHL in Togo was established by Interministerial Order No. 97/03 of 11 June 1997.

 3. 1998: inaugural meeting of the interministerial committee for the implementation of IHL; continuation of legal support  to the government  

3.1 The Advisory Service regional coordinator based in Abidjan carried out a mission to follow up contacts and provide legal advice.

3.2 The inaugural meeting of the interministerial committee for the implementation of international humanitarian law was held in January 1998. It was chaired by the Minister of Justice and was attended by ICRC representatives. The committee adopted its plan of action and established four sub-committees. The rules of procedure and the operating budget were to be adopted at the second meeting of the committee.

3.3 A study was carried out by the University of Lomé on the incorporation of sanctions for violations of IHL into the draft revisions of the penal code and the code of military justice. The proposals of this subject have been submitted to one of the sub-committees of the IHL committee and the Ministry of Justice.

 TUNISIA  

 1. 1997: government made aware of the need for IHL implementation; study of certain related questions  

1.1 A study of certain aspects of the national implementation of IHL was carried out by local legal consultants with a view to providing a basis for representations to the authorities.

1.2 The councillor to the Court of Appeal took part in the Meeting of experts on the national measures to repress violations of international humanitarian law (Geneva, 23-25 September).

 UGANDA  

 1. 1997: contact mission and assessment; study initiated on the extent to which IHL is being implemented  

1.1 Contacts were made with the authorities concerned to raise awareness of the importance of national implementation of IHL.

1.2 A local lawyer was selected and assigned to carry out a study on Ugandan legislation relating to IHL, with a view to organizing a regional seminar on the implementation of this body of law.

 2. 1998: promotion of IHL teaching at university level  

2.1 The ICRC started discussions with the faculty of law and political science of Makerere University with a view to preparing IHL courses.

 ZAMBIA  

 1. 1995-1996: first contacts with the authorities on IHL implementation; national workshop on the issue  

1.1 In 1995 and early 1996, the ICRC's regional delegate based in Harare carr ied out contact missions to promote the taking of national measures for the implementation of IHL.

1.2 The process was begun of selecting a local lawyer to conduct a study on the extent to which IHL has been incorporated into Zambian national law.

1.3 A national workshop on the implementation of IHL was   held in Lusaka from 28 February to 1 March 1996. It was attended by senior representatives of all the government ministries, representatives of training schools for the armed forces and security services, members of the Zambia Red Cross Society and representatives of academic circles and other areas of civil society. The workshop provided an opportunity to study the extent to which IHL has been incorporated into national legislation and to make recommendations regarding action which still needs to be taken in this regard. One such recommendation was for the setting up of an interministerial committee on IHL.

 2. 1997: contacts and technical assistance to the government pursued; mission of an Advisory Service legal adviser  

2.1 An Advisory Service legal adviser paid a follow-up visit to various government ministries in Zambia in February 1997.

2.2 A round table meeting was organized with representatives of ministries and other authorities responsible for the implementation of humanitarian law. The meeting, chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, discussed the measures taken since the 1996 seminar and identified areas for further action.

 ZIMBABWE  

 1. 1996: continued legal support to the government on IHL matters; organization of a national workshop on IHL  

1.1 The ICRC regional delegation in Harare pursued its contacts with the relevant civilian and military authorities to promote national measures for the implementation of IHL. To this end, it maintained regular contact with the national Interministerial Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

1.2 A study on the extent to which IHL has been incorporated into national legislation was completed in consultation with the government authorities. This study was made available to the Advisory Service documentation centre, where it may be consulted.

1.3 A national workshop on the implementation of IHL was held in Harare from 14 to 16 February 1996. It was attended by senior representatives of the government, the armed forces and parliament, judiciary officials, representatives of academic circles and members of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society. The workshop provided an opportunity to examine the study on the incorporation of IHL into national legislation, as well as to identify gaps and the action that still needs to be taken. The workshop recommended that the Interministerial Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law should make the necessary proposals for the incorporation into domestic law of the provisions of the Additional Protocols. The Committee was also invited to designate the authority to be entrusted with monitoring the implementation of domestic legislation in the realm of humanitarian law and to draw up a list of the measures to be taken at national level.

 2. 1997: technical assistance for the incorporation of the Additional Protocols of 1977 into national law; mission of an Advisory Service legal adviser  

2.1 In Feb ruary 1997, an Advisory Service legal adviser carried out a mission to follow up the recommendations of the 1996 seminar. In this context, a further meeting was held in Harare with the members of the Interministerial Committee to discuss the measures taken since the seminar and to identify areas for future action.

2.2 At the request of the office of the Judge Advocate General and the Ministry of Defence, the ICRC provided technical support to the authorities concerned, with a view to incorporating the Additional Protocols of 1977 into national law. These actions led to the promulgation and publication of the Geneva Conventions Amendment Act in 1997.

2.3 The Judge Advocate General took part in the First regional meeting of committees or other national bodies for IHL in African countries (Abidjan, 12-13 August).

 
 

 II. COOPERATION WITH AFRICAN ORGANIZATIONS THAT ALSO PROVIDE ADVISORY SERVICES TO AFRICAN STATES  

 COOPERATION WITH THE OAU  

 1. 1996-1997: adoption of resolutions on the implementation of IHL in Africa; support of the efforts of the OAU with regard to the dissemination of human rights and IHL  

1.1 The ICRC took part in the Third OAU/ICRC Seminar for Ambassadors, held in Addis Abeba on 2 and 3 May 1996, and submitted papers on the Advisory Service and the adoption of national measures for the implementation of IHL.

1.2 The ICRC attended the Committee of Ambassadors, the Council of Ministers and the OAU Summit held in Ya oundé in July 1996.

1.3 During the session of the OAU Council of Ministers held in Yaoundé from 1 to 6 July 1996, a resolution was adopted which, for the first time, solemnly affirmed " the need for the African States to become parties to the instruments on international humanitarian law and adopt national implementation measures relating particularly to the protection of the red cross and red crescent emblem and repression of breaches of international humanitarian law " .

1.4 The ICRC took part in the Committee of Ambassadors, the Council of Ministers and the OAU Summit held in Harare from 26 May to 4 June 1997. It provided those bodies with an information document, prepared by the Advisory Service, on national implementation of international humanitarian law.

 2. 1988: adoption by the OAU of resolutions on IHL and its implementation; Africa to be bound by the IHL treaties (Ottawa treaty); attention of Ministers and Heads of State drawn to the need to adopt national measures for the implementation of IHL  

2.1 The Fifth ICRC/OAU joint seminar for African ambassadors accredited to Ethiopia studied the implementation of IHL in so-called “anarchic” conflicts. At the end of their discussions, the participants recommended the African States intensify their efforts to disseminate IHL, especially within the armed forces, to adopt the measures necessary for the implementation of IHL at national level and to ratify as soon as possible the Ottawa Convention on the prohibition of anti-personnel mines.

2.2 The ICRC is to present an information document on the national implementation of IHL, prepared by the Advisory Service, to the Committee of Ambassadors, the Council of Ministers and the OAU summit to be held in Ouagadougou from 2 to 10 June 1998.

 COOPERATION WITH THE AFRICAN SOCIETY FOR INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW  

1. The ICRC took part in the eighth annual congress of the African Society for International and Comparative Law, which was held in Cairo from 2 to 5 September 1996.

2. A workshop on international humanitarian law was organized on the occasion of the Society's ninth annual congress, which was held in Abidjan in August 1997.

 COOPERATION WITH THE AFRICAN COMMITTEE ON HUMAN AND PEOPLE'S RIGHTS (ACHPR)  

1. An international humanitarian law library was opened in February 1997 at the ACHPR documentation centre, at the organization's headquarters in Banjul.

2. The ICRC took part in a number of seminars organized by the ACHPR in 199 7 on promoting knowledge of and respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.

 SOUTH AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY  

1. A seminar on mines sponsored by the ICRC in cooperation with the OAU and the government of Zimbabwe was held from 20 to 23 April 1997. It brought together representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence of the twelve member countries of the SADC.

2. In October 1997, the ICRC deputy regional delegate based in Harare went to Gaborone and had a meeting with the SADC legal adviser to discuss the possibility of organizing two meetings in 1998, one for armed forces chief instructors of SADC countries and another for the heads of interministerial committees for the implementation of IHL.

 LG 1998-057-ENG