From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Security Stakeholders engaged on International Humanitarian Laws
By Bampia Bundu
Jul 29, 2010, 17:10

The Sierra Leone Institute of International Law (SLIIL) on 28th July 2010 engaged the various state security outfits and other relevant stakeholders in a three-day workshop on International Humanitarian Laws at the GGEM Conference Room, John Street in Freetown. 

In his opening address, SLIIL Executive Director Ambassador Allieu I. Kanu commended participant from the various institutions who left their busy schedules to attend the three days lectures on International Humanitarian Laws. We as an institution are so personate to ensure that we educate relevant stakeholders, especially security personnel on the relevance of international humanitarian laws since they are key players in executing such laws, he stated.   He on that note encouraged participants to ask relevant questions for clarification.

In his presentation, a legal luminary and one of SLIILs executives Mr. Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sei noted that international humanitarian law is defined by the advisory service of the ICRC as the set of rules that seek humanitarian interest in order to limit the effects of armed conflict, adding the laws protect persons who are not, or are no longer participating in hostilities. The international humanitarian law is also known as the law of wars or law of armed conflict, he said.  He pointed out that the legal concept of international humanitarian law applies exclusively to armed conflicts, as according to him it does not dictate whether a state may actually use force.

Mr. Tejan-Sei concluded by saying that as our present world continues to confront the plethora of challenges of war, and adherence to the dictates of the international humanitarian law, there is at least light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to enforcement at the conclusion of conflict; through the present global determination, to fight impunity through existing international criminal tribunals. He said enforcement of humanitarian law and guidelines in the heat of conflicts however, remains an awesome task that only education, sensitization, the political will of our nations leaders and the concerted efforts of the belligerent can save the world from future horrid acts of war that are an affront and disgrace to modern civilization.

Speaking also was the Chief Legal Adviser of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces, Colonel I.M. Koroma who revealed that it is the responsibility of the government of Sierra Leone to educate members of the security agencies on International humanitarian laws. He commended the organizers of the workshop for taking such bold initiative, while assuring them that participant would be capacitated with what they were going to derive from the training.

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