South Africa: ICRC and SADC sign memorandum of understanding

29 May 2015
South Africa: ICRC and SADC sign memorandum of understanding
The Executive Secretary of the SADC, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, and Jürg Eglin, head of the ICRC regional delegation in Pretoria, shake hands following the signing of an MoU between the two organizations in Gaborone, Botswana on 15 May 2015. ©SADC

Pretoria (ICRC) – The ICRC and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have recently concluded a memorandum of understanding that will strengthen relations between them and improve coordination of their activities.

The memorandum was signed on 15 May in Gaborone, Botswana, by Stergomena Lawrence Tax, the executive secretary of the SADC, and Jürg Eglin, the head of the ICRC's regional delegation in Pretoria.

The two organizations have agreed to meet regularly to discuss various issues of common concern, such as: the protection of refugees, internally displaced people and other civilians affected by armed conflict or other violence; the protection of health-care workers and facilities during conflict; humanitarian activities during post-conflict reconstruction; penal reforms and prison management; and arms-related issues that are specific to Africa.

The SADC and the ICRC will also work together to promote international humanitarian law and to urge SADC member States to fully comply with their treaty obligations; the ICRC may provide training in humanitarian law, and in international human rights standards applicable in law enforcement operations, to bodies within the SADC, such as the SADC Standby Brigade.

The SADC and the ICRC may also be invited to take part as observers in each other's meetings. The ICRC works in all 15 SADC member States (Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe), in cooperation with their National Red Cross Societies, to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict and other violence. The ICRC devotes more than a third of its annual budget to its activities in Africa. In terms of resources committed, its operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are among its largest.

For further information, please contact:
Ian Edelstein, ICRC Pretoria, tel: +27 21 430 7335 or +27 82 559 2046