The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has trained the Nigerian troops on ways of improving the mainstreaming of human rights and civilian protection into counterinsurgency operations in the North-eastern part of the country.
In a statement by the Deputy Director Public Relations, Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole, Onyema Nwachukwu, on Thursday, said the troops in Maiduguri were exposed on ways of curtailing human rights abuses during their operations.
According to Mr Nwachukwu, the partnership between the NHRC and the Nigerian Army is yielding positive results.
Flagging off the training session, the Executive Secretary of NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, stated that though the Nigerian military and other law enforcement agencies have performed exceedingly well in containing the insurgency, it is desirable to sustain the gains made.
The executive-secretary, however, stressed the need for re-training of military officers and other key security personnel who are directly involved in the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations, on human rights protection.
Mr Ojukwu, therefore, enjoined the participants in the training to extend the knowledge acquired to their peers.
He recalled that the Federal Government deployed the military to conduct the operations in an effort to restore normalcy in the region at a time when the activities of the insurgents were devastating the northeastern states in a large scale.
In his goodwill message, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Rogers Nicholas, pointed out that the current Service Chiefs has established Human Rights Desks at all Services and Formation Headquarters to meet global best practices.
He added that though the operation in the North-east theatre is a complex one, troops have remained highly professional in conducting their operations.
Mr Nicholas, a major-general, expressed optimism that the training will further reposition officers, soldiers and other security agents in the theatre to competently protect the rights of civilians.
He, therefore, enjoined the participants to imbibe the training and transfer the knowledge and skills acquired to their contemporaries.
Also speaking, the Head of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, UNHCR, Ceaser Tshilom, commended the Nigerian troops, saying that the military is the first humanitarians in conflict situations.
Mr Tshilom, however, stated that there is still room for improvement, hence the need to train troops on Human Rights and civilian protection.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the participants in the training were drawn from military formations and units, as well as other security agencies in the Operation Lafia Dole theatre of operation.