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Nigeria: implementation of humanitarian law must improve in West Africa

08-10-2012 News Release 12/198

Abuja (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appealed today to parliamentarians from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, Nigeria, to work towards better implementation of international humanitarian law in the region.

“International humanitarian law is essential for the protection of civilians in contemporary armed conflict, and States must do more to implement it,” said Zoran Jovanovic, head of the ICRC delegation in Nigeria. Speaking at the second 2012 session of the ECOWAS parliament, he continued: “The ICRC encourages States that have ratified IHL treaties to move from theory to practice and to incorporate these treaties into national legislation.”

The ECOWAS parliament has a close relationship with those of ECOWAS member States, which play a vital role in ratifying instruments of international humanitarian law and in making sure that governments apply them.

The ICRC and the ECOWAS parliament are working together to promote IHL in West Africa by pushing for the ratification of IHL treaties and the incorporation of their provisions into national law.

For further information, please contact:
Aleksandra Matijevic Mosimann, ICRC Abuja, tel: +234 9 461 96 13 or +234 703 595 41 68