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Chad: Soldiers trained in international humanitarian law before deployment to Mali

31-10-2013 News Release 13/182

N’Djamena (ICRC) – Over 1,000 Chadian soldiers have received training in international humanitarian law in preparation for their peacekeeping operations in Mali. The course was organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in conjunction with the Chadian army. International humanitarian law is a set of rules that, for humanitarian reasons, seek to limit the effects of armed conflicts by restricting the means and methods of warfare and by protecting people who are not, or no longer, taking part in hostilities.

During the five-day course, held at the Loumia training centre from 21 to 25 October, officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers learnt the basics of international humanitarian law and the rules of engagement that govern armed forces in peacekeeping operations. Some of the participants will be joining the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA); others will be posted to the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA).

“They were taught about the humanitarian impact of the kind of military operations they would have to carry out. The protection of civilians in armed conflict was just one of several important topics covered,” said Linh Schroeder, head of the ICRC delegation in Chad. “Using the example of Mali, where the ICRC has been working for many years, we were able to illustrate the role that humanitarian organizations can play in helping people caught up in conflict.”

The training course was made possible by successful cooperation between the ICRC, the Ministry of Defence and the Chadian army. “We would be happy to work together again for any future Chadian deployments in the area,” said Ms Schroeder.

The ICRC is continuing to work with officials from the Chadian armed and security forces to integrate international humanitarian law into standard army training and awareness-raising. To that end, two high-level meetings were held with senior officers and members of the inter-army military schools group (GEMIA) on 28 and 29 October.

For further information, please contact:
Ananie K. Kashironge, ICRC N'Djamena, tel: +235 66 20 10 05
Sitara Jabeen, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 78 or +41 79 536 92 31