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Sri Lanka: 2,400 peacekeepers briefed on humanitarian law in 2010

17-12-2010 News Release 10/230

Colombo (ICRC) – Over 2,400 army, navy and air force personnel deploying to Chad, Haiti and Lebanon on peace-support operations have taken part in eight international humanitarian law briefing programmes conducted this year by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"As part of its universal mandate, the ICRC works with States worldwide to support their efforts to promote awareness of and compliance with international humanitarian law," said Peter Evans, in charge of the armed and security forces file for the ICRC in Sri Lanka. "Pre-deployment briefings enable peacekeepers to understand their obligations under international law applicable in situations of violence. We also take the opportunity to give them a tailored update on the humanitarian situation and ongoing ICRC humanitarian operations in their specific mission area."

At the request of the Sri Lanka Army, the final session of the year was held for army personnel going on a UN peace-support operation to Haiti. Thirty-two officers and 352 other personnel took part in the programme held at the Institute of Peace Support Operations Training Sri Lanka in Kukuleganga on 30 November.

The ICRC has been conducting international humanitarian law briefings for Sri Lankan armed forces personnel set to participate in UN peace-support operations since 2005. The programme continues into 2011.

The ICRC is an independent and neutral humanitarian organization endowed by all States with the mandate to spread knowledge of international humanitarian law.

For further information, please contact:
Sarasi Wijeratne, ICRC Colombo, tel: +94 11 250 33 46 or +94 773 1588 44
Christian Cardon, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 26 or +41 79 251 93 02