Every soldier must respect the international law that regulates behaviour during armed conflicts in order to limit the negative effects of war. Some African Armed Forces have a lack of experts/trainers that specialise in the law of armed conflict. The consequence of this being that soldiers who do not have a basic level of knowledge or understanding regarding the rules in this domain may be put in a position where they inadvertently violate international humanitarian law. The training is provided by Belgian soldiers or civilian professors working at the Royal Military School in the chair of law. As the Royal Military academy has the expertise and the ability to provide practical examples internally, the Ministry of Defence avoids subcontracting.
Each year, the Belgian Armed Forces trains African officers on the law of armed conflict during a six-week course given in either Belgium or in the partner country. A Train the Trainer approach is used with the objective that the officers trained become experts within the general staff of the army in their respective country or operate in a training cell of a military school or of a unit.
This activity is deemed ODA-eligible. Training of partner country military personnel, including in non-military matters, is generally not eligible, except in limited areas and under civilian oversight and with a clear developmental purpose for the benefit of civilians. Training in human rights and rule of law and in international humanitarian law are amongst the limited areas listed in the Reporting Directives on partner country military (paragraph 97).