8 November 2012

Senegal: Officers Learn to Teach the Law

press release

Dakar — A nine-day course organized by the Senegalese armed forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to train 17 officers to teach international humanitarian law ended in Dakar today.

International humanitarian law is a set of rules that seek, on the basis of humanitarian principles, to limit the effects of armed conflict. It protects persons who are not, or no longer, participating in hostilities, and restricts the means and methods of using force in armed conflicts, such as the one currently under way in Casamance.

"By spreading knowledge of international humanitarian law within the Senegalese armed forces and taking it into account in military operations, the 17 officers trained by the ICRC will help provide better protection for conflict victims in Casamance and elsewhere," said Christophe Martin, the head of the ICRC delegation in Dakar.

The ICRC strives to prevent the various armed entities from committing violations of international humanitarian law. In February 2012, the ICRC organized two awareness-raising sessions on protecting people as law-enforcement operations were being conducted by military personnel and security forces in Casamance. During the same period, the ICRC also gave a presentation of international humanitarian law for a group of fighters belonging to the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC).

After opening a regional delegation in Dakar in 1989, the ICRC set up a sub-delegation in 2004 in Ziguinchor, Casamance (southern Senegal), to bring aid to people harmed by the armed conflict.

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