Protecting civilians in armed conflict
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Iraq: coaching Peshmerga trainers in teaching the rules of war to their units

15th June 2017 | Iraq - Humanitarian norms

Peshmergas
To the article in Kurdish Sorani

In November 2016, 17 Peshmerga officers graduated from Geneva Call’s training of trainers on the rules of war. They have now started to disseminate these rules to all Peshmerga units.

“Why should we treat an injured enemy fighter before our friends ? » is one of the challenging questions that the newly-graduated trainers had to answer during their first training sessions, when it is explained  that injured fighters should be treated in order of medical priority whether friend or enemy.

Since April 2017, 13 Peshmerga trainers have trained 158 fighters on the rules of war in 13 different military locations including on the front lines around Mosul in the Ninewa and Kirkuk governorates. Geneva Call’s team accompanied the trainers and coached them on how to improve their teaching skills as well as  how to answer  -often complex- legal questions.

“While civilians are paying a high toll in Mosul, all parties involved in this conflict should take necessary steps to protect the civilian population. This training programme is a first stage and we are confident that the Peshmerga will keep improving their respect of the rules of war” noted Mehmet Balci, Geneva Call’s Head of Programme for the Near and Middle East region.

This ambitious teaching programme has been possible after the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs and Geneva Call  signed an agreement in March 2017 in which they agree to keep building the Peshmerga’s institutional capacity to disseminate the rules of war, in particular in the military training centers.

In accordance with this agreement, Geneva Call will also support the Ministry  of Peshermerga to Affairs develop a formal code of conduct for its fighters and to disseminate it to the Peshmerga rank-and-file.

 

This programme is supported by the European Union Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection.

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