The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday begun a training session for the military on mainstreaming human rights principles and civilian protection into counter-insurgency operations in Borno.
Declaring the training open in Maiduguri, the Executive Secretary of NHRC, Mr Tony Ojukwu said the training to sustain the gain so far made is being done in collaboration with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Ojukwu who was represented by Mr Harry Obe, the Director Women and Children in the commission, said the training is for key military officers directly involved in the counter-insurgency operations.
“This training is on civilian protection and mainstreaming human rights principles into counter insurgency operations..
“The justification for this training cannot be overemphized. The war against insurgency is complicated by the asymmetric nature of the conflict.
“The insurgents live within us and there is hardly a clear drawn battle-line between the insurgents and the civilian population.
“There is therefore an extreme need to prosecute the insurgency operations to win the hearts and minds of the civilian population of Nigeria.
“This has underscored the importance of this training on mainstreaming principles of respect for human rights and civilian protection into the counter-insurgency operations.
“This will not only reduce the casualty level, it will also reduce the humanitarian consequences of internal displacements and the protection challenges arising therefrom,” Ojukwu said.
He lauded the sustained cooperation the commission is getting from the military top command in facilitation of the training and assured the military of the commission’s commitment to support the military to respect human rights in its operations.
Also speaking, the Borno Coordinator of NHRC, Mrs Jummai Mshelia, lauded the improvement in human rights in the operations of the military in Borno.
Mshelia said the training would further enhance the operations of the military to rules of engagement.