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Gambia: armed forces instructors train to teach international humanitarian law

22-02-2010 News Release 10/24

Banjul (ICRC) – Twenty officers of the Gambian armed forces today started a two-week course for instructors in international humanitarian law. The course is being run jointly by the Gambian forces, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Gambian Red Cross.

Major-General Masanneh N. Kinteh, Chief of the Defence Staff of the Gambian armed forces, opened the course in the Yahya A.A.J. Jammeh Joint Officers'Mess in Kotu. The event is part of a larger process aimed at integrating international humanitarian law (IHL), or the law of armed conflict, into the training curricula and operational processes of the Gambian armed forces.

" This course will create a competent pool of fully autonomous instructors, " explained Pierre Vandeputte. Vandeputte is the lead facilitator of the course and joined the ICRC after retiring from a senior position in the Belgian Army.

Last September, the Gambian armed forces and the ICRC signed a memorandum of understanding on the integration of IHL, and the armed forces set up an IHL office with support from the ICRC.

International humanitarian law is a set of rules that seeks to limit the effects of armed conflict. It protects persons not, or no longer, taking part in hostilities, and restricts the means and methods of warfare.

  For further information, please contact:
  Lamin Gassama, Gambian Red Cross Society, tel: +220 99 16 388
  Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Dakar, tel: +221 77 529 71 45