19 July 2012

South Sudan Ratifies the Geneva Conventions

Juba — The Republic of South Sudan on Monday agreed to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols related to the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war, after a bill was passed by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA).

The move now implies that all countries in the world have now signed the 1949 Geneva Conventions, making the treaties truly universal.

"We are very pleased to learn that South Sudan has acceded to the Geneva Conventions. These rules which seek to protect human life and prevent needless suffering are now universal. The fact that all States have signed them puts that beyond doubt," said Melker Mabeck, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Juba.

"The Geneva Conventions must continue to be incorporated into the training and doctrine of South Sudan's army so they are known and complied with," he added

The Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols are the core of international humanitarian law, setting out rules which seek, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict.

These rules, among others, protect persons not, or no longer, participating in hostilities, such as civilians, health workers and aid workers, wounded or sick soldiers, prisoners of war and other persons deprived of their liberty, and impose restrictions on the means and methods of warfare to which parties to conflict can resort.

"This is an historic moment for South Sudan," said Dengtiel Ayuen Kuur, who chairs the NLA Committee of Legislation and Justice."

"These laws restricting the means and methods of warfare must be adhered to if we are to forge a path towards peace and prosperity. Today we as a nation underline our commitment to the principles of humanity even in times of war," he added.

The ICRC's permanent international mandate to protect and assist victims of armed conflict is derived from the Geneva Conventions.

Since it began operation in the region in 1986, the ICRC has reportedly provided technical support and advice to the South Sudanese government during the accession process, in addition to conducting training and information sessions on international humanitarian law for South Sudan's army and armed groups present in South Sudan.

Copyright © 2012 Sudan Tribune. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.