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Civilian protection key in counter insurgency operations – Ojukwu

Civilian protection has been described as key issue in the

ongoing counter insurgency operations in the

North East.

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.

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