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Ethiopia: military legal advisers briefed on international humanitarian law

17-04-2008 News Release 08/68

Addis Ababa (ICRC) – On 15 and 16 April, 100 legal advisers of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) took part in a workshop on international humanitarian law (IHL) organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Addis Ababa. The participants came from several ENDF units in Addis Ababa, regional commands and training centres, and from all divisions around the country.

" Under IHL, legal advisers of the armed forces should be available to guide military commanders on the correct application of the provisions of the law, " said Jürg Eglin, deputy head of the ICRC's delegation in Ethiopia. " They should also advise them on how to ensure that the forces under their command receive appropriate instruction in these provisions. "

IHL is a body of law comprising the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977, to which Ethiopia is a party, and various other international treaties. It regulates the means and methods of warfare, with the aim of striking a balance between military necessity and the principles of humanity. Under the provisions of IHL, persons who are not or are no longer taking part in a conflict must be spared and treated humanely.

The ICRC is responsible for promoting IHL throughout the world. It endeavours to make the basic principles of the law known to all bearers of weapons. In Ethiopia as elsewhere, the ICRC conducts exclusively impartial, independent and neutral humanitarian activities.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Patrick Mégevand, ICRC Addis Ababa, tel. +251 116 478 300 or +251 911 480 921  

 Anna Schaaf, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 2271 or +41 79 217 3217