Participants from the international humanitarian law roundtable meeting held on 26 and 27 May, 2016 in Addis Ababa. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC
The ICRC delegation to the African Union held a roundtable on 26-27 May on the obligation to ensure respect for international humanitarian law in multinational operations in Africa.
The timing of the roundtable was ideal given the number of peace operations and military coalitions deployed in Africa and the increasing role of the African Union in responding to hostilities. The ongoing talks between the UN and AU on their partnership concerning peace operations added to the timeliness of the gathering.
The roundtable's purpose was to share experiences, practices and challenges concerning the obligation to ensure respect for international humanitarian law, or IHL. Discussions focused on the legal and operational aspects of the obligation, including measures relating to due diligence, conduct of hostilities and the protection of the civilian population. Exchanges were candid, open and fruitful.
Legal advisers and other personnel from the United Nations, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the African Union, AMISOM, the Multinational Joint Task Force, the European Union, ECOWAS and the troop-contributing countries Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda participated in the roundtable.