Kenya calls for adherence to international humanitarian law during armed conflicts

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Kenya on Monday urged the international community to promote fidelity to international humanitarian law, protecting civilians and their properties during armed conflicts.

Aden Duale, the cabinet secretary for Defense, said that armed combatants should protect civilians from harm besides opening corridors for delivery of humanitarian aid in case war erupts.

“In a period marked by shifting alliances, growing geopolitical tensions, and armed conflicts, the current state of affairs reinforces the essence and relevance of international humanitarian law in preserving our common humanity,” Duale said at the 16th senior workshop on the international rules governing military operations underway in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

He stressed that adherence to international humanitarian law is urgent, as conflicts escalated globally.

The meeting, which was convened by Kenya Defense Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), brought together senior military officers from 65 countries to discuss the place of humanitarian law in armed conflict.

Duale said that Kenyan defense forces are cooperating with international humanitarian agencies to strengthen rules governing modern warfare and ensure that they respect the human rights and livelihood of the civilian population.

Jonah Mwangi, the vice chief of Kenya Defense Forces, called for mutual learning between disciplined forces and humanitarian agencies to promote the application of laws that protect civilians and facilitate the delivery of aid to global hotspots.

“By integrating international humanitarian law into training and operations, the military becomes a key enforcer of values that safeguard the dignity and rights of individuals, even in times of conflict,” Mwangi said.

He stressed that once disciplined forces adhere to humanitarian law, global stability, peace and reconstruction of conflict zones will be guaranteed.

Martin Schuepp, the director of operations at the ICRC, said that concerted efforts have been ongoing to help nation-states and their militaries integrate international humanitarian law into their domestic legal frameworks.

According to Schuepp, providing training and awareness to disciplined forces will be key to boosting their application of humanitarian law during armed conflict.

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