Mogadishu – Head of the Somali National Army (SNA) has instructed the soldiers to comply with International Humanitarian Law during military operations across the Horn of Africa nation.
Abdiweli Hussein, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), warned that soldiers who disregard the law will be prosecuted.
“When you want to maintain security and you are fighting insurgents (al-Shabab), there are international laws to be observed which must be safeguarded,” Hussein cautioned the soldiers.
“The religion of Islam ordains that. The people you are protecting, those you are fighting with and those you are fighting for should be very clear to you,” he added in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
The Humanitarian Law regulates the conduct of forces in armed conflict and seeks to protect the rights of civilians who are not participating in hostilities.
Senior officials of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) joined the army chief and troops to discuss the tenets of the International Humanitarian Law in Mogadishu.
AMISOM is spearheading training of the Somali National Security Forces on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.
The army chief also distributed the “Code of Conduct for Combatants” to the local army to familiarize them with combat rules, which guides on how to protect civilians and their property, limit destruction and respect civilian property during combat, among other rules.