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Niger: training the trainers in international humanitarian law

11-05-2010 News Release 10/78

Niamey (ICRC) – Twenty-five officers of the army, the gendarmerie and the national intervention and security forces began a train-the-trainers course in international humanitarian law in Niamey today.

The course, which is being given for the fourth time, is organized jointly by Niger's armed forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). For 10 days, officers in charge of instruction in military training centres and schools, and those whose duties include military planning and operations, will be given training so that they in turn will be able to teach international humanitarian law and to include it in the training, strategy and planning of military operations.

" Niger's defence and security forces are very clear about the need to incorporate the rules of international humanitarian law into the basic training of military personnel, and into combat strategy and tactics, " said Jürg Eglin, head of the ICRC regional delegation in Niamey. " That is why the armed forces leadership asked for ICRC support in organizing this course. "

International humanitarian law aims to limit the effects of armed conflict by protecting people not, or no longer, taking part in hostilities, and by restricting the choice of methods and means of warfare. Its main rules are set out in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977.

The ICRC carries out its work in Niger through its regional delegation in Niamey. In 2006 it launched a programme of support for the incorporation of international humanitarian law in Niger army operations. A total of 75 officer trainers have already been trained in the courses it organizes. The participation of other officers in an in-depth course at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo, Italy, and in other seminars has also been sponsored by the ICRC.

  For further information, please contact:
  Ziad Abu Laban, ICRC Niamey, tel: +227 97 45 43 82 or +227 20 73 93 09
  Saadatou Malam Barmou, ICRC Niamey, tel: +227 96 59 20 98 or +227 20 73 93 09