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Liberia: AFL instructors attend course in humanitarian law

30-10-2007 News Release 07/41

Twenty instructors from the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) will attend a one-week training course in international humanitarian law (IHL) – also known as the law of armed conflict – in Monrovia from 29 October to 3 November.

The course is being held jointly by the AFL and the ICRC, which is the guardian of IHL and strives to spread knowledge of its provisions.

The purpose of the course, taught by ICRC expert on armed forces and securities issues Serge Bourgeois, is to incorporate IHL into AFL training and practice. The course will cover the specific rules governing the principles of distinction (between combatants and those not or no longer taking part in the fighting), precaution and proportionality and will focus on the implementation of these principles at all levels of decision-making and execution.

" In the heat of action, soldiers react according to various collective and individual mechanisms, " said Mr Bourgeois. " We are providing their instructors with tools and advice that will help ensure that soldiers and their officers have the proper reflexes in times of armed conflict. "

The ICRC has been raising awareness of IHL among members of the Liberian army, the Liberian police and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) since 2004, a year after the Accra peace accord was concluded. It also supports the Liberian government in its efforts to incorporate IHL into national law.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Stephanie Bouaziz, ICRC Monrovia, tel : +231 6 528 089