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Economic Community of West African States: Humanitarian Law Seminar

(Sept. 28, 2010) On September 28, 2010, a three-day seminar, “National Implementation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL),” began in Abuja, Nigeria. Senior government officials from 35 states that are part of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) gathered to discuss the implementation of international humanitarian treaties. One focus will be the role of national committees on IHL, and one of the documents under consideration is the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (adopted in Kampala, Uganda, on Oct. 22, 2009, text available from the African Union website,
.) In addition, the attendees will consider trends in weapons control and repression of violations of IHL provisions. (Abubakar Yakubu, ECOWAS Govt Officials to Meet in Abuja, DAILY TRUST ONLINE (Sept. 23, 2010), World News Connection online subscription database, NewsEdge Doc. No. 201009231477.1_018d003753fd4667.)

According to Sunny Ugoh, ECOWAS's media officer, and Robin Waudo of the International Committee of the Red Cross, those participating in the seminar include representatives of ministries of foreign affairs, justice, and defense of ECOWAS member countries. The plan is for these officials to exchange ideas and discuss their experiences in implementing IHL. The seminar follows a similar meeting in 2009 at which a joint ECOWAS-Red Cross Plan of Action was approved. (Id.)