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V Course of the African School of Forensic Humanitarian Action

4 October 2017

Ambassador of the Argentine Republic Mr Javier Esteban Figueroa hosted a reception on the occassion of the completion of the V Course of the African School of Forensic Humanitarian Action.

22 Experts from Burundi, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Georgia, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zimbabwe have successfully completed the 2017 course. Ambassador Figueroa said that he hoped the course has constituted a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experiences and the creation of peer networks that will enrich the delegates work in their respective countries.

Introducing the School Ambassador Figueroa said, "Since its inception in 2012, the African School of Humanitarian Forensic Action –the brainchild of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team- aims to set a continental standard for multidisciplinary forensic investigations -jointly with the UP, the ICRC and the Argentine Fund for Cooperation- not only for Human Rights violations and criminal cases but also for natural disasters.

The successive five courses of this African School have contributed to capacity building and training of almost 100 forensic experts and officials from the judiciary and police forces of more than 20 countries in the African continent and other extra-continental countries, like Georgia this year, promoting horizontal links and the development of a regional network of forensic experts.

We believe that this initiative is a clear example of South-South collaboration since its participants come from societies that endured human rights violations and have deficiencies in their forensic systems. We learn together and share.

This school is also an effective case, a strong and longstanding alliance between the public sector (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and NGO (EAAF), international humanitarian institutions (Red Cross) and the academic sector (UP)."

Ambassador Figueroa recognised the work carried out by the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team not only in Argentina, where they play a vital role in the investigation of human rights violations, but also in many other countries and particularly in the African continent. Over the last decade, the Argentine Team has developed fruitful and long-term engagements with local experts not only here in South Africa but also in more than 10 other African countries.

He also acknowledged the critical contribution of the University of Pretoria and the International Committee of the Red Cross to this African School of Forensic Humanitarian Action. Since 2016 their joint collaboration with the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team has vastly enhanced the objectives of this school.

Argentina and the ICRC have a long history of collaboration in different projects, the most recent one and very sensitive for Argentina is the identification of Argentine soldiers that lost their lives in the Malvinas Islands during the South Atlantic Conflict in 1982. For this task, the ICRC has also worked together with experts from the Argentina Forensic Anthropology Team.

Argentina and the University of Pretoria also have a long tradition of collaboration, academic exchanges and joint projects, particularly in the field of agricultural sciences. Argentins is eager to explore the potential partnership with the Future Africa initiative of the UP, particularly the field of agribusiness, animal and vegetable health, sports –particularly football- and Human Rights.

Embassy of Argentina in Pretoria, South Africa



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