By Esther Onyegbula
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center, CISLAC and Centre for Civilians in Conflict, CIVIC has admonished President Muhammadu Buhari to prioritized the safety of civilians in conflict areas across the country.
The group during a two-day media parley in Lagos, said that, at a time when conflict and violence has monopolized news cycles, it is important that President Muhammadu Buhari commits to the protection of civilians and civilian harm mitigation in armed conflict.
Speaking during the program which was supported by the European Union (EU), Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa, said that in formulating national security policies and priorities, the protections of civilian and civilian harm mitigation are also very fundamental.
“Protection of civilian allows for adequate accountability mechanism that pushes external agencies to regulate the use of discretionary powers, such as whether the use of force is applied in compliance with national and international law”.
Explaining further Ibrahim Musa, “It is important to stress that effective protection comes from a holistic balance with issues of governance, accountability, and integrity. Protection within the security forces is key (to generating a coherent force with the will to face major security challenges and to being able to deal with breaches of conduct at the point of breach). #
Focusing on security alone comes at the expense of accountability that cannot keep up with new equipment, systems, and practices. To avoid the pitfalls of civilian harm, there is an urgent need to adopt a policy regime that emphasizes on train and equip measures; a thorough and joint assessment on capacity and integrity of forces can help manage any potential harm in any theatre of operations”.
Executive director, Centre for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC), Jaye Gaskia, “CIVIC noted that respect for human right is an integral part of protection. Human security must be promoted over regime security.
This is indeed at the heart of draft National policy on protection of civilian currently in the mills. Peace is possible where adequate protection from harm through deliberate political solution is institutionalized.
Hence the president must promote the culture of protection by seeking to understand the real essence why protection is fundamental. To promote economic and social stability, protection is not only from physical harm; it has a direct effect on livelihood and access of social infrastructures”.
In bridging the gap, Jaye Gaskia noted that “CIVIC has successfully trained over 2387 military personnel at training institutions and deployment centres, trained 663 deployed troops within Brigades in the NE, facilitated training of trainers for 93 military instructors, facilitated 19 meaningful dialogues and town hall meetings between the military, community militias, stakeholders and civilians that has further strengthened trust, coordination and led to an inclusive community driven protection of civilian`s strategies.