Last month, 36 councillors from the Western Highlands Province of PNG signed agreements to respect and implement 15 traditional rules of fighting, transforming these documents in local Government laws.
The laws are drawn from traditional rules of warfare in the Highlands and mirror fundamental principles of international humanitarian law. They include prohibitions against the destruction of public infrastructure and the targeting of civilians or neutral tribes, and call for respect for women, children and health-care providers. The signing ceremony marked the culmination of over 18 months of discussions between tribal leaders and provincial authorities, facilitated by the ICRC’s Mission in PNG.
The ICRC is now working in different stages to replicate this success in other provinces.