Ethiopian student wins international humanitarian law essay competition

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has recognized an Ethiopian law student for winning an essay competition on the topic of international humanitarian law (IHL).

Rahel Alemayehu, from Mekelle University, won the 2017 East African competition organized by the ICRC.

Rahel received a certificate and prize from the head of the ICRC delegation in Ethiopia, James Reynolds, at a ceremony on Oct. 3 at the ICRC office in Addis Ababa.

"Prior to the competition, my knowledge about IHL was insignificant. But ever since I read an article dealing with last year's essay competition winner on the ICRC website, I did a lot of reading and attended a number of lectures that helped me to deepen my knowledge about the substantive and procedural laws of IHL," remarked Rahel.

"The Application of International Humanitarian Law to Emerging Cyber Warfare" was the title of Rahel's winning essay. Entries came from 19 universities in East Africa taking part in the competition.

Reynolds said the ICRC, in partnership with universities, organizes an IHL essay competition every year with the intention of initiating interest among law students in the subject of IHL. "The award aims to motivate other students to participate in the competition, thereby doing research on the subject. It was pleasing to see an Ethiopian student produce such a good essay in an emerging area of public international law," Reynolds said.

This was the second time for an Ethiopian student to win the regional IHL essay competition, according to Eyerusalem Teshome, ICRC Legal Officer.

In Ethiopia, the ICRC shares information on IHL among members of academic institutions through trainings and seminars.