From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sierra Leone Red Cross Schools FBC Students on IHL
By Mohamed Kanu
Jun 28, 2010, 13:02

The Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS) has collaborated with the SLRCS-FBC branch to sensitize students on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Peace Support Operations (PSO). The public session was held over the weekend at the college’s Mary Kinsley Auditorium and was aimed at increasing the knowledge of students on IHL, the organizers disclosed.

The students were educated on the historic aspect, objectives, mandates, and activities of the Red Cross Movement. The forum was also used as a wake up call to the government for the domestication of the IHL in the country.

Officer in charge of the SLRCS, Mr. Ibrahim George, explained that the Red Cross Society was established by a Swiss businessman who had been traveling around Europe when he came across a serious battle between France and Australia in 1863. Thousands of civilians were killed and injured, he disclosed, adding that it was during this period that the Swiss businessman decided to form a volunteer group to render first aid assistance to such injured civilians. He furthered that the group gained recognition through ‘the Geneva Convention’.

"Sierra Leone was the 90th out of 186 countries that have become members of the Red Cross movement," Mr. George informed.

According to him, the Sierra Leone Parliament is presently reviewing the Act of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS) in order to harmonize the status of the country’s movement with that of the universal status.

Mr. George said the mandate of the Red Cross is to undertake humanitarian activities, alleviate sufferings of victims and to ensure the reunification of separated families, among others.

Communication Officer of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, Mr. Patrick J Massaquoi, and the Training Officer, Armed Force Education Centre, Captain Marie Koroma both made useful contributions.

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