By Dauda Iliya
The National Human Rights Commission says it is developing strategy to strengthen protection of human rights of civilians in the ongoing counter insurgency operations in the northeast.
Executive Secretary of the Commission Mr Tony Ojukwu stated this at a consultative meeting on Security Accountability Mechanism Project held in Maiduguri.
Mr. Ojukwu observed that abuse of human rights by some security agents was a major factor that escalated the Boko Haram insurgency in Borno state.
According to him, both state and non-state actors have perpetrated wide range of violation of rights of citizens which include unlawful and extra-judicial killings, enforced disapperances, prolonged arbitrary detention in facilities, gender based violence among others.
The Executive Secretary explained that the Commission in partnership with Open Society Initiative for West Africa OSIWA therefore embarked on a research for a fundamental change on human rights protection in the context of counter insurgency operations.
” It is not a fault finding exercise, it’s just to make sure that we remind ourselves on the right thing to be done and if possible find out have we made any mistakes which we need to correct in future to have a better campaign. We must continue to act professionally and the only way to do that is keep reminding ourselves of the need to act within the rules of engagement”.
The Executive Secretary National Human Rights Commission lauded the effort of the military for establishing human rights desks in all formations, office of Human Rights Advisor in the office of Chief of Defence Staff.
In their goodwill messages, representatives of Theatre Command Operation Hadin Kai, Nigeria Police, Civil Defence, Immigration Service, OSIWA and the Civil Society appreciated the Commission for organising the meeting.
They promised engage with all actors to promote issues of human rights and abide by laid down rules and regulations.
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