Bangladesh: strengthening relations between ICRC and armed forces
Relations between the ICRC and the Bangladeshi armed forces have gone from strength to strength over the last couple of years. This increased cooperation culminated this week (5-9 of June) in an IHL (international humanitarian law) train-the-trainer course being held for 16 officers of the Bangladesh army, navy and air force.
The training, held under the auspices of the Bangladesh Army Doctrine and Training Command (ARTDOC), took place at the Bangladesh Institute for Peace Support operations training (BIPSOT) about 50 km north of Dhaka. The five days of training included an introduction to IHL, how IHL should be integrated into operations, command responsibility and the relevance of IHL and international human rights law (IHRL) in other situations of violence.
The course concluded with each of the students making a presentation on an aspect covered in the earlier theoretical part of the course.
The course coordinator and ICRC delegate to the armed forces, William Bowie, stated "I believe the training to have been a great success. The participants were very enthusiastic, willing to learn and are now equipped to go out and further disseminate international humanitarian law to units and formations within the armed forces".
The closing ceremony was graced by the presence of Ms Judy Cheng-Hopkins, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations for Peace Building Support. During her closing address, she stressed the importance of all peacekeepers having a thorough knowledge of laws governing the aspects to be undertaken. With Bangladesh being one of the major contributors to worldwide peacekeeping operations, the importance of such knowledge cannot be overemphasized.
Brigadier General Abul Basher Imamuzzaman, commandant of BIPSOT, stressed the importance the cooperation in this form of training between the ICRC and BIPSOT and expressed the hope that further activities of this nature would be developed.