Zimbabwe: Promoting dignified management of human remains during peace support operations

08 August 2017

Harare (ICRC) – Thirty representatives from 12 southern African countries including members of the military, police are in Harare, Zimbabwe from 8 to 11 August 2017 for a seminar to promote best practices on the management of human remains during peace support operations. The training is being organized by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Military Health Services Committee and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as part of a process to promote common standards and approaches in the region amongst first responders.

"Accurately and respectfully recovering, documenting and storing information from and about human remains found during armed conflict, violence and disasters has a central role in enabling families to be able to identify missing loved ones," said Stephen Fonseca, ICRC's Regional Forensic Coordinator. "Collecting this data helps forensic practitioners to positively identify the remains and give certainty to families that they have found their loved ones when they are searching for them," he continued.

Brigadier General (Dr) Kaka Mudambo, Regional Coordinator of the SADC Military Health Services Committee, said "military health practitioners are deployed along with other peacekeepers from SADC in difficult circumstances where they may be the only medical personnel available. Learning and training together on the latest techniques on the dignified management of human remains can help us fulfil our mission and role as military health practitioners," he said.

This seminar is being organized as part of the joint plan of action between the ICRC and SADC Military Health Services Committee signed in 2016 to facilitate the exchange of information, training and expertise with the aim of improving health care services delivered during peace support operations.

For further information, please contact:
Jesilyn Dendere, ICRC Harare Regional Delegation, tel: +263 778055476