Evolve Mechanism to Checkmate Human Rights Violations, Army urged
It is important that the Nigerian Army initiate and empower institutional mechanism to effectively checkmate human rights abuse by its personnel, particularly during internal security operations in different parts of the country in and out of conflict situations as well as during exercises and operations, says Professor Toba Afolabi.
Prof. Afolabi, made this known at the just-concluded three days Directorate of Army Public Relations Study Period held at the Auditorium of 1 Division Headquarters Kaduna.
In his paper titled “Developing a Viable Framework Against Human Rights Violations During Internal Security Operations in Nigeria, the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) lecturer, emphasised the necessity of the military to respect human rights and account for their actions in their day to day operations while on internal Security Operations.
He stressed the importance of training of security personnel in the areas of protection of human rights and protection of civilians in conflict.
According to him, “To effectively address human rights violations it is necessary to address the drivers or causes of conflict which made the military to come out in aid to civil authority. The need to reduce the level of involvement of the military in Internal security operations will help in addressing abuse of human rights by members of the Nigerian Army”.
He commended the Nigerian Army for institutionalising mechanism to checkmate rights abuses by personnel of the service in the areas of rules of engagement, code of conduct, human rights desk and department of civil military affairs at the Divisional and Army Headquarters Abuja .
Similarly, Professor Samaila Mande, the Dean, Post Graduate School of the National Open University of Nigeria, in his paper entitled “Information Operations: Galvanizing Citizens Support Towards Successful Military Operations” opined that the military should takes information/media operations and counter narratives and deradicalisation modules serious to be able to effectively and strategically deal with terrorists propaganda machinery as well as communicate messages that could achieve the desired impact or douse tension during conflict or in emergency situations.
Professor Mande cited the example of the Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command and Nigerian Army Situation room as some of the commendable achievements of the Army especially during and after the 2019 General Elections, where crisis that could have threatened or disturbed the nation was proactively thwarted or effectively dealt with.
He commended the Nigerian Army leadership for its forsight by the establishment of these two important commands for the peace and security of the nation.