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Congo: UN trains army on humanitarian principles

DR of Congo: UN trains army officers on humanitarian principles

17 May 2006 – The United Nations today announced that it has completed training 45 officers of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) in the eastern town of Bunia, Ituri Province, on humanitarian principles and the protection of civilians.

Those benefiting from the effort earlier this month were commanders of platoons, sections, companies and battalions, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which carried out the initiative with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Child Protection Division of the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).

Training focused on international legal instruments and norms pertaining to the involvement of children in armed forces, as well as the role of armed forces in the protection of children and women against sexual violence. During the training workshop, the participants identified opportunities for raising awareness among the troops they command, and how to apply these principles in the field.

Ten humanitarian actors, based in Ituri and representing UN agencies, international and national NGOs, also received the training on humanitarian principles and the absolute necessity to abide by them, particularly as the country gears up for elections, to better guarantee the neutrality and impartiality of humanitarian action.

“The humanitarian community and MONUC call on the Government of DRC to fulfil its responsibility in respecting the internationally established humanitarian principles and in ensuring the protection of civilian populations, including internally displaced people,” OCHA said.

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