NAF Should Provide More Details on Rann Bombing-CIVIC
The Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) has in response to the statement by Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) on the bombing of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp in Rann, called for more answers from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF)-principal actor in the ugly incident.
The Senior Director of Programs, CIVIC, Ms. Marla Keenan, in a statement on Wednesday, acknowledged the efforts and explanations by the Nigerian military authorities but noted that it still falls short of mitigating civilian harm.
According Keenan: “The January bombing of the IDP camp in Borno by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is a stark reminder that the Nigerian government and its security forces should work quickly to further develop their capabilities to protect civilians during military operations. If they fail to do so, they risk civilian lives in future preventable incidents.
“We encourage the Nigerian military to share with the general public the findings from the Board of Inquiry and to release the full report on the incident in accordance with global best practices on investigations into civilian harm.”
She said that CIVIC acknowledged the positive step, described by Air Commodore Adesanya on July 24, to provide medical care to IDPs in Borno state.
However, she noted, there is much more to do to ensure the civilians harmed at Rann receive the help they deserve and that civilians are better protected in future operations.
To this end, Keenan encouraged the Nigerian government and security forces to:
Create and fund a government-wide Protection of Civilians (POC) policy to build the capacity of the Nigerian military and security forces to effectively protect civilians from various armed non-state actors as well as from their own operations.Continue efforts to make amends to the victims of the Rann bombing.
She expressed CIVIC belief “that if the Nigerian government takes the hard but necessary steps to better protect civilians during and after military operations, relations between civilians and the Nigerian military and security forces will improve. Civilians should not have to fear those who should be their protectors.”
Keenan noted that CIVIC’s mission is to improve protection for civilians caught in conflicts around the world.
“We call on and advise international organizations, governments, militaries, and armed non-state actors to adopt and implement policies to prevent civilian harm.
When civilians are harmed we advocate for the provision of amends and post-harm assistance. We bring the voices of civilians themselves to those making decisions affecting their lives,” she stated .