By Frederic Tendeng
Major-General Masanneh Kinteh, Chief of Defense Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF)
on Tuesday, launched a two week sponsored International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) training course for the Gambia Armed Forces on International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
The training sessions are taking place at the Yahya Jammeh Joint Officers” Mess, situated in Kotu, along Senegambia area. 20 military officers of the Gambian armed Forces are benefiting from the lectures being provided by several experts, some of whom are members of the Gambian Red Cross Society.
The move is part of a wider scheme to integrate IHL or the law of armed conflict in the training and all operational procedures of the Gambian armed forces, following a memorandum of understanding signed between ICRC and the country’s armed forces.
Pierre Vandeputte, the lead facilitator of the course, expressed hope that the training will further develop the expertise of the Gambian military personnel.
“This course will create a competent pool of fully autonomous instructors”, Vandeputte, a former member of the Belgian army, said.
International Humanitarian Law is a set of rules agreed upon by the international community to limit the effects of armed conflicts. It seek to protect people who do not, or no longer take part in hostilities and considerably limits the choice of means and methods of warfare. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is the Society that promotes and advocates for IHL. Since May 1991, some 164 ICRC staff have been employed in The Gambia and Senegal, 29 of whom are expatriates.