The Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) competition involving Officer-Cadets from 23 military academies across the world was organized in Sanremo, Italy from 19-23 March 2018.
Rwanda was represented by three officer cadets from the Rwanda Military Academy, Gako namely O/cdt Arielle Ingabire Sekamana, O/cdt Micheal Nsengiyumva and O/cdt Nelson Ndahiro under the leadership of Major Augustin Hodali.
For equal competition, all the academies in the competition were also represented by three officer cadets each from top military academies around the world that were evaluated on the basic knowledge and understanding of the critical importance of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in multinational military operations.
They were divided into multinational mixed teams representing fictional countries involved in an escalating international armed conflict. The competition had 2 phases including a preliminary phase and a practical phase.
The preliminary phase had interactive lectures on aspects of LOAC and an evening of cultural exhibition.
According to Rwanda’s Ministry of Defense, the Rwandan Team exhibited the uniqueness of Rwandan culture, the current national development, agricultural and artistic items made in Rwanda. The participants overwhelmingly enjoyed the Rwandan stand.”
As far as practical phase is concerned, contestants conducted a format of simulated Joint Operation Centers (JOC) with involved Cadets required to assess scenarios of armed conflict and provide legal advises on appropriate responses basing on legal and military skills.
They were evaluated on their knowledge of LOAC, effective communication, effective team work and the ability to merge various diplomatic, legal and military imperatives.
The Ministry of Defense indicated, that Rwandan team did not disappoint.
“From this highly and professional competition, Officer-Cadet Arielle Ingabire SEKAMANA was declared the overall cadet of the 17th LOAC Competition, the first time an officer cadet from an African country wins this prestigious contest,” reads a communiqué from the ministry.
Additionally, Rwandan Officer-Cadets Arielle INGABIRE SEKAMANA and Nelson NDAHIRO were part of the overall best mixed teams of the competition. The victorious RDF delegation returnED back to Rwanda over the week-end.