By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has commended what it termed as giant strides recorded by the Nigerian Military in the fight against insurgency in the North East region of the country.
However, the rights body, said there was need for the Military to be more professional and ensure strict adherence to international best practices at all times.
The Commission, in a statement it made available to Vanguard, said it had in its bid to deliver more on its statutory mandate and to ensure that all relevant stakeholders adhere to the principles of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, organized a two-day training for the Military on mainstreaming of human rights and civilian protection in counter insurgency operations in the North East.
It disclosed that the training, which held in Maiduguri, Borno State, was organised in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee, UNHCR.
“At the training in Maiduguri which is one of the components of the NHRC/UNHCR Protection Monitoring Project, the Executive Secretary of the Commission Tony Ojukwu Esq commended the Military for winning the war against insurgency.
“He said to sustain the gain made so far, the Commission will not rest on our oars in ensuring that the Military continues to mainstream human rights in their operations.
“Ojukwu who was represented by the Director of Women and Children Department, Mr. Harry Obe said international best practices must be adhered to at all times in counter-insurgency operation”.
According to the statement, the NHRC’s boss further warned that although many of the insurgents are laying their arms, “we need to manage the development with a lot of caution”.
He urged the Military to carry out profiling and investigation of Boko Haram insurgents in a professional manner, saying “there is need to carefully assess people surrendering to know those that are worthy of rehabilitation. It is important to consider justice for all sides, that is, victims, perpetrators and the society”
On his part, the Chief Civil-Military Coordinator/Cooperation Officer, Headquarter Theatre Command, Joint Task Force North East, Operation Hadin Kai, Navy Captain Sunday Bala Ayuba, who led the team of Military at the training, appreciated the Commission and its partners for organizing the training, stressing that it was like a refresher course for the participants.
He urged the officers that participated, to make the best use of the training opportunities to acquire the knowledge and apply same where it relates to their operations.
Navy Captain Ayuba said such training should be encouraged from time to time to create more understanding for the management and sustenance of peace, especially in fragile Communities affected by the insurgency.
“Topics like; Balance between National Security and Human Rights, Civil-Military Relations, Standard for Arrest and Detention in Situation of Armed Conflict, Human Rights Implication of Terrorism, Protection of Internally Displaced persons, etc. were presented at the training.
“Similar training will be organized in subsequent weeks for the Military in Adamawa and Yobe State.
“A separate training will also be organized for Stakeholders and MDAs with Protection mandate”, the statement added.