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Posted: 2018-05-21

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Tony Ojukwu Esq has called on stakeholders to contribute their quota in the fight against insurgency in order to deal with the issue in a sustainable way that will meet both local and international standards.

Mr. Ojukwu stated this during a two-day training on mainstreaming human rights and civilian protection into counter insurgency operations in the North East. At the training which was put together by the NHRC in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) under the IDP protection monitoring project, the NHRC boss said the issue of insurgency is new in Nigeria and must be adequately dealt with in order to win the confidence and trust of the affected people in the ability of stakeholders to tackle their problems He said when the counter insurgency operation started, a lot of mistakes were made which resulted in lots of human rights violations, "we need to put things in order, so as to ensure that human rights violations are reduced as much as possible, we must apply humanitarian principles in dealing with these issues considering the large number of IDPs that we have as a result of the ugly situation".

The NHRC CEO said the training of Law Enforcement Officers is the effort of the NHRC and UNHCR to reduce human rights violations during counter insurgency operations, adding that the war against insurgency is complicated because of its asymmetric nature, "there is hardly a clear drawn battle line between the insurgents and the civilian population and this makes the whole situation difficult"
While commending the gallantry of the officers in the frontline who are working tirelessly to protect the vulnerable people from the attack of the insurgents, Mr. Ojukwu said mainstreaming human rights in their operations will not only reduce casualty level but it will also reduce humanitarian consequences of internal displacement and protection challenges.

He further stated that the Commission has handed down a directive on the treatment of suspects and accused persons by law enforcement personnel, "the directive underscores the need to respect human rights while carrying out law enforcement duties, he added". .

According to the Unit Head of UNHCR in Damaturu, Mr. Gabriel idoko, the UNHCR remains committed in working with the NHRC to ensure training and retraining in order to build the capacity of law enforcement officers and security operatives who are in the frontline of operation. "this is to ensure improvement in terms of human rights and humanitarian issues which needs to be addressed during counter insurgency" he said.

In his contribution, Major General Oluwaseun Oshinowo Rtd. advised law enforcement officers to always restrain from getting angry during operations as any slights provocation can make them act in a way that could violate human rights.
In the same vain the UN Adviser on Civil Military Relations in Nigeria, under the office of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, (UN-OCHA) Major General Moses obi said the fight against insurgency is every body's business as such "everyone must play his own role to ensure that we successfully win the war to alleviate the sufferings of our people as a result of this situation". .

The Law Enforcement Officials at the training were drawn from the Nigeria Army, Nigeria police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp and Department of State Security Service. They appealed to the Commission to come up with a document on mainstreaming human rights in counter insurgency to make their work easy for them. .

They called on the Commission to make Nigerians understand that they also have rights which must be respected and protected like the rights of the civilians as their job should not subject them to perpetual accusation of human rights violations.


NHRC News Update (115) Paged

Page 1 of 58

Presidential Panel on SARS Reform led by Tony Ojukwu Esq, Executive Secretary NHRC submits Report to President Muhammad Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

Chairman Presidential Panel on SARS Reform Tony Ojukwu Esq has clarified media reports on the recommendations made by the Panel to the Federation Government.


The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command to take steps to decongest Police cells to avoid further violation of rights of suspects whose detention have needlessly been prolonged.

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