Protect civilian rights or face consequences, NHRC tells military

Posted by Martins Abochol | 27 May 2018 | 1,646 times

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•The Executive Secretary of NHRC, Mr Tony Ojukwu

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has advised the Nigerian military to protect rights of civilians while carrying out their operations or face consequences.

Executive Secretary of the commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yola that the nation had international obligation to protect the rights of everybody living in the country.

According to him, the government has the responsibility to protect, promote, and to fulfill all the rights of citizens.

Ojukwu also said that the Federal Government had no room for violation of human rights, and therefore, urged the military to abide by rules of engagement and avoid violation of human rights during their operations.

“The inept value of humans is our right to life, and no one deserves to be treated unfairly.

“We, therefore, encourage our military to recognise these fundamental principles in our dealings.

“We should mainstream right to life in our operations and in every action we take; we must account for it,” Ojukwu said.

On the recent Amnesty International’s report on rights abuses by the military in the country, he said that the allegations had no proof because it did not provide statistical analysis on the abuses.

According to him, any of such infractions must be investigated and perpetrators dealt with if properly reported.

The executive secretary said that the military had mechanism to address issues relating to rights violations and other operational misconduct.

He said that the training on mainstreaming human rights and civilian protection into counter insurgency operations in the North-East was aimed at improving their capacity on civilian protection.

Ojukwu said that the commission was not only concerned with the military but the general public to recognise human rights in all dealings.

“It is not that we vindicate the military or criticize but to share ideas on how best we can collaborate.

“Protection stands at the helm of our mandate and if the military can improve in the area of humanitarian protection, it will reduce waste of lives, IDPs and consequences for minimum respect for human rights,” he said.  (NAN)


Source: News Express

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