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DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS ORGANISES HUMAN RIGHTS LECTURE FOR TROOPS OF OPERATION SAFE HAVEN

The Defence Headquarters has organised human rights lecture for troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH), as a mechanism to prevent the violation of the rights of innocent civilians by troops and other personnel of Operation SAFE HAVEN.

In his opening remarks at the event held at Headquarters 3 Division Maxwell Khobe Cantonment Jos, the General Officer Commanding 3 Division Nigerian Army and Commander Operation SAFE HAVEN, Major General AE Abubakar, said troops operating within OPSH Joint Operations Area have constantly undergone trainings on human management from military institutions and civil society organizations. The Commander disclosed that, these trainings have boosted the capacity of personnel during internal security operations, where troops engage civilians on regular basis.

Major General Abubakar further stated that, military personnel deployed on OPSH have been inundated on the need to continually operate within the ambit of the law, with maximum respect for the rights of innocent civilians. He also urged the participants to educate their colleagues who were not opportuned to attend the lectures in order to ensure that the knowledge gained trickles down to every personnel to guide their conduct. The commander also revealed that the lecture was in fulfillment of the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen CG Musa resolve to improve the professional capability of military personnel on internal security operations across the country which is also aptly captured in the Training Directive to all formations under the guidance of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen TA Lagbaja.

Delivering a lecture on Protection of Civilians, the guest speaker, Major AA Goni, said that the human rights lecture was important to troops on OPSH owing to the people-centric nature of the operations. The guest speaker noted that, there must not be selective protection of civilians during conflict. He further stressed that no intensity of military operations would justify unlawful killing of civilians.

On her part, Barrister Lovina Abbah, a Human Rights Lawyer, who delivered the second lecture on Torture and Cruel Treatment, said by respecting human rights, military personnel are likely to gain the confidence of the civil populace, which could aid military operations for optimal success.

Barrister Abbah added, that the law does not permit the use of torture to extract information from detainees. She urged the participants to embrace forensic method of investigation to determine the facts of cases being investigated. She, therefore advocated that operational guidelines should be followed while military personnel are on operations.

The team leader and Special Adviser to the Chief of Defence Staff on Human Rights, Air Commodore OO Akisanya (Rtd), disclosed that the lecture was conducted to improve the operational effectiveness of military personnel operating in a joint environment.

Highlights of the event include Lectures on Protection of Civilians/Torture and Cruel Treatment, interactive session, presentation of souvenirs and group photographs.

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