Geneva Call held a training session for 7 SPLM-N representatives based in various European countries (Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom).
The SPLM-N has been a signatory to Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment banning anti-personnel (AP) mines since November 2013 and to the Deed of Commitment protecting children in armed conflict since June 2015. It is currently still in discussions with Geneva Call in view of signing the Deed of Commitment on prohibiting sexual violence and against gender discrimination.
During this training event, Geneva Call presented the main rules contained in these three Deeds of Commitment, and the participants studied ways of pushing forward with their practical implementation following signature and their related monitoring.
The trainers also explained in detail how the rules of international humanitarian law relate to a wide range of themes, including child protection, AP mines, sexual violence, displaced persons and cultural heritage, among others. Geneva Call raised the important issue of protecting schools during conflicts, particularly the prohibition on using educational infrastructure for military purposes.
Geneva Call will continue to encourage the SPLM-N in its efforts to disseminate the norms of IHL in the field. “We are engaged with the SPLM-N at all levels, in the field and abroad, in order to maintain the movement’s level of knowledge about IHL. This occurs in parallel to our activities with other stakeholders, civil society actors, and traditional and religious leaders,” said Fred Meylan, Programme Manager for the Horn of Africa.
A complete presentation of the educational material for the Fighter not Killer campaign was also given, including its mobile phone application.
During the discussions that followed, the SPLM-N representatives reaffirmed their strong commitment to respecting the norms of IHL at all levels of the movement and to continuing the dissemination of training materials to their membership and civil society organizations working in areas under their control.
Since 2011, in both the Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions, ground fighting and aerial bombardments have caused significant internal population displacements and substantially increased the humanitarian needs there. No further developments have been made regarding the peace process. Access to these areas is still highly restricted, leading to a dramatic lack of basic services and growing food insecurity.