Nigerian army set up desk to handle human rights abuses
By Mohammad Ibrahim
Abuja-- Feb 25- Nigerian army has set up an human rights desk at its headquarters in the capital, Abuja, to continue training officers about the need to respect the rights of citizens in the ongoing fight against Islamic insurgent group Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups in the country.
It could be recalled that Amnesty International and other human rights associations have criticized Nigerian Army of human rights abuses against terrorists, citizens an allegation the army authority always denies.
This was disclosed by Nigerian military spokesman Acting Director Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka.
His comments came after high-ranking officials of the army, including army chief of staff Tukur Buratai, met with Amnesty International about concerns the rights organization raised in its recent report.
The report by amnesty accused the Nigerian army of gross human rights violations in the fight against Boko Haram militants in parts of Nigeria’s north.
Residents of areas attacked by Boko Haram militants often accused soldiers of human rights violations. The military usually denies the accusation.
“We have been treating both Boko Haram suspects and the victims with respect and dignity, as humanly possible,” Colonel Usman said.
He said the army has investigated and punished officers accused of committing human rights abuses in the amnesty report.
He also said the Nigerian army led by the chief of army staff took proactive measures including consulting the Nigeria Bar Association as well as the national human rights commission in the country.
Similarly, few days ago Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre and the European Union concluded the civil military co-operation and human rights observance live exercise training for about one-hundred-and-eighty-eight personnel in city Kaduna north part of the country.
The training was to boost the capacity of the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies towards institutionalizing the respect for human rights under the platform of civil military co-operation framework.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the exercise, the Peacekeeping Commandant Jaji Cantonment Kaduna, Brigadier-General Adamu Dauda said the live exercise is also to build their capacity aimed at enhancing corporation between civilian and the military during combat operations in any part of the Country.
Brigadier-General Dauda added that the participants were drawn from Army, Navy, Air force, Police, DSS and Civilian comprising one-hundred soldiers, fifty officers and thirty-eight civilians.
The Oslo Times