Civilian protection has been described as key issue in the
ongoing counter insurgency operations in the
The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights
Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu Esq made this known in Yola
during a two-day training on mainstreaming human rights and
humanitarian principles and civilian protection into counter
insurgency operations in the North East.
According to a press statement by the Assistant Director, Public
Affairs, Fatimah Agwai Muhammad, the training which is an
annual capacity building for the military, was put together by the
NHRC and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Ojukwu who was represented by the Commission’s Director of
the Department of Women, Children and Vulnerable groups, Mr.
Harry Ogwuche Obe, said that contrary to the belief of most
people, the troops also need human rights protection as much
as the civilian population.
“The rights of the officers and men of the Nigerian military are
just as important as the that of the Civilian population and must
be respected,” he said.
The Rights Commission’s Boss said the successes recorded in
counter insurgency operations in the North East must be
sustained, adding that there was need for government to do
more in the area of providing the military with the necessary
resources that would motivate them to achieve more successes
in the fight against insurgency.
“The military need the best available equipment to protect them
while in the front lines because when the military fail, the
consequence is that people lose their lives and properties to
The Human Rights CEO further stated that following series of
engagements with the military at different levels, and with the
establishment of human rights desks in military commands
across the country, “the military is desirous of
working within human rights laws as we record less cases of
human rights violations perpetrated by them presently, as
compared to when the insurgency started”.
He said the Commission’s way of supporting the fight against
insurgency is by organizing such training to build
capacity so that the would be more confident and operate by the
highest standards required in the counter in their operations
The representative of the UNHCR Country Rep at the event, Mr.
Mohamed TejanCole, who doubles as the Head of UNHCR Field
Office in Yola, said the 2019UNHCR Global trend report
indicated that Nigeria presently has 1.7million displaced IDPs in
the States of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
“This means more humanitarian problems but what is paramount
to us as humanitarian workers is the protection of this large
population of vulnerable groups”.
The representative of the military, Flight Lieutenant Abara Agbo,
said one of the objectives of the armed forces is to keep Nigeria
as one, therefore troops should not allow the attitude of the
enemy to cause disunity among them.
“The reason why we are called professionals is because we are
trained, we should strive to use this training and professionalism
in responding to crisis situations”.
While promising to further step down the training in their various
formations, the participants expressed delight at the
opportunity to learn new ideas, saying it would positively impact
on their operations in the frontline.