By James E. Brooks, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
U.S. Naval War College professor Capt. Kevin Brew recently returned from a two-week mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where he led a three-person judge advocate general officer team to train the DRC military on core legal topics.
Capt. Brew’s training team was sponsored by the Defense Institute for International Legal Studies (DIILS) located at Naval Station Newport, RI. The Naval War College is committed to building international maritime relationships, and Capt. Brew’s support of the DIILS outreach training program is a great example of this mission in action.
“The DRC continues to be challenged by security, social, economic, and other problems and was recently ranked second on the failed states index,” said Capt. Brew. “The U.S. government placed special focus, funding, and resources on developing the DRC, which includes its military.”
The outreach team travelled to Kinshasa to work directly with DRC military judges and line officers. Among the topics discussed were the law of armed conflict, ethics, anti-corruption, rule of law, the International Criminal Court, and atrocity crimes including genocide. Collaborative seminars engaged students, while DRC military magistrates played an active role through lectures on the DRC Constitution, new DRC Code of Ethics, and the military code.
“Discussions revolved around the recent outbreak of fighting in the DRC involving the use of child soldiers and rogue general officers. Notably, the first conviction and sentencing by the International Criminal Court involved a DRC militia commander, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo,” said Capt. Brew.
Legal training to the DRC is one of 10-15 annual international programs coordinated by DIILS.