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Zimbabwe: IHL integration workshop in Harare

07-05-2007 News Release

Thirteen high-ranking officers from the armed forces of twelve member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are attending a workshop on the integration of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in Harare. The event, organised and sponsored by the ICRC began today and will run until Friday, 11 May.

 The following was issued as a press release by the ICRC delegation in Harare on May 7 2007.  

    

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is the set of rules designed to limit the destructiveness and suffering caused by armed conflict. Under the Geneva Conventions, all states have a legal obligation to integrate these rules into their military training. 

The Zimbabwean minister of defence, Dr Sydney Sekeramayi, officially opened the workshop at the Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre (RPTC), a SADC institution in Harare. In his speech, Dr. Sekeramayi said the workshop was important because it " brings together directors of training of defence forces of SADC member states. Your deliberations during this workshop should enhance strategies of integrating the law of armed conflicts into your various national military conventional courses and other related training programmes. "

The workshop begins with a short refresher course on IHL. The participants will then take stock of the current status of integration in their respective armed forces. Finally, the member states and the ICRC will explore potential avenues of co-operation in the coming years.

The ICRC is organizing and sponsoring this workshop under its international mandate to promote IHL, especially to the world's armed forces. The organisation's head of delegation, Mr Zoran Jovanovic, stressed that " for the law to be effective in times of war, it has to be systematically taught in times of peace. "

 For further information, please contact Sébastien Brack  

  on (00263) 912 240960 or (00263) 731 520