We have zero tolerance for Human Rights abuse – Army Chief

The Nigerian Army says it will continue to maintain zero tolerance for Human Rights abuses in the ongoing anti-terror war in the North East. Maj.- Gen. Lucky Irabor, the Theatre Commander of Operation, Lafiya Dole, gave the assurance Monday while receiving a delegation from the UN Security Council in Maiduguri.

Irabor said that troops deployed to the theatre were made to undergo special training on code of conduct before their deployment.

“The theatre has zero tolerance for any form of Human Rights abuse.

“To that extent, we have instituted measures to ensure that our troops operate within the provision of International Human Rights laws,’’ he said.

He added that the International Human Rights laws were well entrenched in Nigerian Army’s code of conduct and rules of engagement.

“Prior to induction of any unit into the theatre, troops go through training where the issues of code of conduct are taught to ensure that they keep to the rules of engagement,’’ he said. He also said that there were dos and don’ts that soldiers were made to abide by in operations.

“For anyone who defaults, we have a standing court martial in Maiduguri to try cases of misdemeanour. “Some soldiers have been court martialed, awaiting sanction and ratification by appropriate authority,’’ Irabor said.

He said that the military was also working with the International Committee of the Red Cross to ensure the protection of Human Rights in its detention centre.

“We are collaborating with the ICRC on our detention centre and they have free access to our detention facility.

“We have been collaborating with them and they have been supportive,’’ the military commander said. Earlier, Amb. Matthew Rycroft, leader of the UN delegation, commended the military for its gallantry in fighting the Boko Haram.

“We recognise the threat Boko Haram had created in your country and its neighbours.

“We commend the Armed Forces of Nigeria engaged in this operation and the Multi-National Joint Task Force,’’ Rycroft said. The ambassador also commended the Nigerian Army for the success it recorded in the fight against Boko Haram insurgence.

“We know that the fight has not been won; we encourage you to continue your efforts.

“We are also firm in our determination to assist in alleviating the humanitarian crisis in the region,’’ Rycroft said.

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