LIHL Keen on Enforcement of International Humanitarian Treaties


Monrovia – The Liberia International Humanitarian Law Committee, (LIHL) says, it is keen on the enforcement of international humanitarian treaties but wants these laws domesticated in the country.

Report by Willie N. Tokpah – [email protected] 

A report presented at the Boulevard Palace Hotel following an ICRC ECOWAS Seminar in Abuja, Nigeria in October 2017, noted that the domestication o these treaties would protect people faced with humanitarian crisis in Liberia.

The report streamlined various issues ranging from the ratification of conventions, signing of agreements, integration of humanitarian laws into the security sectors to action of transfer of arms, amongst others.

It also calls for the promotion and structure collaboration among member states of the Mano River Union for implementing and domesticating international humanitarian laws within the region.

Liberia International Humanitarian Law Committee further recommends the continued domestication of the Arm Trade Treaty, including drafting of a proposed National Arm Transfer Law in the country.

The report registered that Liberia had been commended for the level of achievement in implementing some of the International Humanitarian Law and the training of the Arm Forces of Liberia in these International Humanitarian Laws.

During the presentation of the report, the Chairperson of the Liberia International Humanitarian Law Committee, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister for Legal Affairs Cllr. Deweh Gray said the domestication of international humanitarian law is necessary for Liberia.

These laws, according to her, mean whole lot for humanitarian services, stating that its domestication and integration into cardinal sectors of government should be of greater concern.

For his part, the Head of Mission at the International Commission of Red Cross Bernard Metraux commended Liberia for the bore step in reaching the decision on implementing some of these humanitarian treaties, though according to him the country might be a bit late.

“Great achievement and well done, we are appease and particularly where Liberia is taking active part and after that is the active ratification and implementation of the international law,” Metraux said.

According to him, Africa plays an important role in the ratification of a numbers of treaties but its implementation matters a lot.

Mr. Metraux, however, assured the LIHL that ICRC would continue stay in Liberia would place high emphasis on the implementation of the humanitarian laws.

“ICRC will continue to remain in Liberia and while in Liberia, one of its objectives is to support the action committee along with governmental entities involve with the process at large as well as approaches for implementation of daily training,” Metraux averred.

At the same time, presenting the Liberia International Humanitarian Law 2018 Work Plan, a member of the Secretariat Benoni Knuckles lauded the ICRC for supporting the Liberian delegation to Abuja, Nigeria.

He said it was good for a work plan to be provided in improving the Liberia International Humanitarian Law Committee efficiency and cooperation.

“The work plan include conducting four quarterly meetings, creating awareness with various national and international partners, strengthening legal framework for International Humanitarian Law compliance and the implementation of compliance,” Knuckles added.

These work plan, Knuckles stated, is gear at creating sustainable awareness activities, strengthen legal framework and implement compliance of domestication in line with ECOWAS plan of action on the implementation of IHL in West Africa.

According to him, when implemented, the plan will improve efficiency and cooperation within the LIHLC, to measure targeted outcomes in advocating for and domestication of IHL Convention and treaties, which Liberia is a signatory to.

Meanwhile, Knuckles believes these actions would promote national, regional and international plans of action in support of the International Humanitarian Law Compliance and Domestication.