ACCORD/TfP was invited to contribute to an International Humanitarian Law (IHL) seminar organised by the ICRC. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), the ICRC institutions that are operating in various member states and any other invited institutions, hold annual seminars to discuss their related IHL daily activities and the challenges and problems they encounter along the way.
ACCORD/TfP was asked to provide a Think Tank perspective on the importance of a “Protection Mandate for Peace Support Operations (PSOs) in Africa”. The presentation was informed generally by the organisation’s strong empirical background on Peace Support Operations (PSOs) training, research and policy analysis owing to its involvement in the development of the Civilian Component of the African Standby Force (ASF) while working with the AU, Regional Economic Communities (RECs)/Regional Mechanisms (RMs).
During the week of 22 to 27 August 2016, the ICRC senior managers and technical staff from Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Madagascar, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Republic of South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Seychelles, as Member States of SADC and including Kenya, a Member State of the East African Community (EAC), the African Union (AU), the Pan African Parliament (PAP) met at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) in Pretoria, South Africa, to exchange views on contemporary challenges in Peace Support Operations (PSOs) that are increasingly drawing in large numbers of peacekeepers whose effort is to restore peace, security and stability on the continent. The contemporary challenges faced by the ICRC operatives working in the African environment are multifaceted, asymmetric and unpredictable and often fuelled by fundamentalism, ethnicity and religious extremism that makes them very violent, indiscriminate and destructive.
The seminar provided ACCORD with a platform to further promote the objectives of the AU RECs/RMs and Member States in enhancing efforts at Protection of Civilians (PoC).