On 20 February, Geneva Call launched a video campaign via Facebook to raise awareness about the rules of war and humanitarian norms among the populations in Libya’s main cities, including Benghazi and Tripoli. The “Fighter not Killer” campaign is already running in several countries in the Middle East; it promotes the rules that all combatants must respect to reduce the impact of armed violence on civilian populations.
Over two weeks, ten 30-second videos will be intensively promoted via the Facebook page @Muharib.La.Qatil. Using simple animation and a voice-over, they encourage respect for rules such as “don’t target civilian buildings”, “don’t attack schools” or “don’t recruit children”.
Violations of humanitarian norms in the country are regularly reported, including the use and recruitment of children, the use of anti-personnel mines, sexual violence and the lack of respect for the principles of distinction and proportionality.
“Libya has been the theatre of frequent abuses against civilian populations since the beginning of the conflict in 2011. We are launching this campaign to start raising awareness about humanitarian norms throughout the country. We aim to start a humanitarian dialogue with the major armed actors in the country soon,” said Catherine Hiltzer, Geneva Call’s Head of Africa Region.
Geneva Call recently initiated a Libya country programme. In December 2017, in Tunis, it conducted a first training session on humanitarian norms for members of civil society organizations from many different parts of the country. By developing relationships with these organizations, Geneva Call intends to establish initial contacts with armed actors via them and also train trainers who will be able to amplify the dissemination of humanitarian norms among civil society and armed actors.
Geneva Call has been running its “Fighter not Killer” campaign in five countries, including Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo, since 2013. There has been a total of more than 20 million views on social media, with messages also going out on local TV and radio stations.