Pretoria – The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are to host a high-level workshop on international rules governing military operations, the first of its kind to be held in Africa.
The workshop, which has taken place four times in Europe, is expected to be attended by 70 senior officers from different armed forces across the globe.
“Such a workshop is essential to bring about greater respect for international law and limit the suffering of people affected by armed conflict or internal violence,” said ICRC Vice President Christine Beerli, who is expected to attend the opening ceremony.
The Senior Workshop on International Rules Governing Military Operations (SWIRMO) aims to enhance understanding of the most pressing international legal issues faced in modern military operations.
This year, it will focus on military detention, the conduct of hostilities in armed conflict, and military involvement in law enforcement operations in order to translate legal principles into practice.
“SANDF is honoured to host the SWIRMO course. It continuously strives to achieve a high level of excellence for the troops in South Africa and peace-support operations on the continent,” said Chief Human Resources, Lieutenant General Derrick Mgwebi, who will officially open SWIRMO 2011 at the Military Academy on 27 June 2011.
“By providing troops with the best military training, we are ensuring a safe and secure South Africa, while contributing to a better Africa and a better world,” he said.
The workshop provides an environment where experiences can be shared, allowing participants to broaden their views on the operational consequences of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
All the participants and instructors are senior military officers who have extensive backgrounds and experience in operations or training.
Every year, SWIRMO is hosted jointly by the ICRC and the armed forces of a selected country. The 2007, 2008 and 2010 editions of SWIRMO took place in Switzerland with the Swiss armed forces as co-hosts.
In 2009, SWIRMO was held in Paris in cooperation with the État-Major de l’Armée de Terre (HQ French land forces).
The fifth SWIRMO will be hosted by the Military Academy in Saldanha Bay, Western Cape, from 27 June to 2 July 2011. – BuaNews