Last Updated: Friday, 26 December 2014, 13:50 GMT

Nigeria: focus on international humanitarian law in West Africa

Publisher International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Publication Date 21 February 2012
Cite as International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Nigeria: focus on international humanitarian law in West Africa, 21 February 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4f44d4a82.html [accessed 28 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Twenty-five experts from the governments of 15 member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are taking part in the three-day seminar, jointly organized by the ECOWAS Commission and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"We have enjoyed 10 fruitful years of cooperation with the ICRC with the aim of ensuring that the implementation of international humanitarian law takes root within the region," said Dr Adrienne Diop, the ECOWAS commissioner for human development and gender. "Our interest in working together with the ICRC stems from our commitment to the protection and welfare of all persons within the ECOWAS space. Clearly, respect for the laws of war is of critical importance in bringing into being a realm of security and protection for all West Africans, in line with the aims of ECOWAS."

In addition to exploring topics relating to development of international humanitarian law, the seminar provides an opportunity for ECOWAS member States to share their experiences in terms of incorporating the provisions of various instruments of that body of law in domestic legislation. The participants will also be briefed on issues pertaining to access to health care, and protection for medical staff providing it, in situations of armed conflict and other violence.

The seminar was formally inaugurated by Mohammed Bello Adoke, Nigeria's attorney-general and justice minister.

"Civilians in the region have suffered from armed conflicts in the past, and continue to be affected by outbreaks of violence," said Zoran Jovanovic, the head of the ICRC delegation in Nigeria. "In view of this, ECOWAS member States should, as a matter of priority, include provisions of international humanitarian law and other relevant instruments in their national legislation. The ICRC stands ready to support the member States in this endeavour."

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