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Namibia: assembly members and officials discuss humanitarian law

10-03-2006 News Release

On 9 March 2006, the ICRC's regional delegation for Southern Africa organised a seminar on the national implementation of international humanitarian law (IHL) for over 40 members of Namibia's national assembly, as well as senior officials from key national offices and ministries.

While the primary focus of the seminar was to discuss the country’s responsibility to transform its IHL commitments into national law, the ICRC also seized the opportunity to brief them on the organisation's work in the region. The Namibian Red Cross also presented its activities.

Some of the participants paid tribute to the ICRC’s work, based on their personal experience. The President of the Namibian Red Cross, Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, was detained at Robben Island in South Africa for 17 years; there, he and other anti-apartheid leaders such as Nelson Mandela were regularly visited by ICRC delegates. In a similar vein, the President of the national assembly, Theo Ben-Gurirab, reminded the assembly of the ICRC’s humanitarian work in conflict and commended its neutrality, impartiality and independence.

 The ICRC’s regional delegation for Southern Africa, is based in Harare, Zimbabwe, and also covers Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia.