The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said on Friday, that Civilian Joint Task (CJTF) and hunters in Borno were critical stakeholders in the counter-terrorism operation in the state.
Executive Secretary of the commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu, stated this at the opening of a two-day training for CJTF and hunters on “observing human right laws and civic protection in the counter-insurgency campaign’’ in Maiduguri.
He said that the commission was collaborating with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in organising the training.
Ojukwu, who was represented by NHRC’s Head of Monitoring Department, Mr Okey-Benedict Agu, said that the participants were being trained under NHRC/UNHCR 2019 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) protection monitoring project.
He explained that CJTF was critical in the counter-insurgency operations, and that the training was designed to strengthen their capacity in understanding the tenets and norms of human rights.
“We want them to respect the human rights of the citizens.
“A lot of stories have been told; a lot of challenges are there; there is a serious interface between the human rights and counter-insurgency operations.
“The insurgents’ activities engage the right to lives and ownership of property while the counter-insurgency operations engage the rights of all Nigerians, and any of the rights can be abused in the course of counter-insurgency operations,’’ he said.
Ojukwu said the participants would be trained on the codes of engagement to enhance civic protections.
“The participant are the leaders and commanders drawn from the 27 local government areas.
“They are expected to step down the training in their respective places on June 3, this year,’’ he said.
UNHCR Protection Officer in Borno, Mr Godlove Kifikilo, said that the programme was initiated to strengthen knowledge, capacity of CJTF for protection of IDPs and others affected by conflict.
In his remarks, CJTF Spokesman, Mr Bello Danbatta, said that the training would go a long way in enhancing best practices among its members.
Danbatta said that the programme indicated firm commitment of the Federal Government to the complementary effort of CJTF in the counter-insurgency campaign.
He assured that participants would utilise the skills from the training for the benefit of all members and the society. (NAN)