of Political and Civil Damage Reduction in Nigeria, Abdulrazak Namdas.
The appointment took place at the official launch of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) Technical Working Group, sponsored by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
Nigeria has been battling a decade-long insurgency that has left millions of people homeless and hundreds of thousands losing their lives in the midst of it. This has raised questions about civilian safety in the midst of the country’s crisis and other security challenges.
Therefore, the Technical Working Group is required to organize, cooperate and interact further and design techniques that impact the security agencies’ systems, orientation, and operational guidelines.
Speaking at the inauguration, Namdas urged the TWG members to show their cooperation and genius in their efforts.
” To address the evolution of the conflict in Nigeria and ongoing civilian protection challenges, the TWG is geared to advance strategies and practices that minimize civilian harm. Considering your strategic importance in the sector, your institution is carefully selected as a member of the TWG.
” There had been efforts to engage Nigerian government to develop protection of civilian policy/legislation that would put civilians at the heart of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations as well as other military operations across the country. This platform is indeed novel and largely innovative to actualize this mandate using all administrative channels.” Namdas said.
He emphasized that placing the safety of civilians at the centre of Nigeria’s military operations is the most successful way to restore stability and deliberately fight violent extremism.
“The primary objective of this working group is to bring together stakeholders from government, CSOs, and security forces (to include police, Civil Defence, FRSC, Customs, and Immigration) to discuss protection concerns and improve civilian protection. Elevating protection of civilians as an objective in Nigeria’s approach to addressing these challenges will require changes in Nigeria’s use of its security forces, particularly training, doctrine, exercises, and operations of the security forces and its strategic influence with the citizens.” He added.
It is anticipated that the Technical Working Group will provide an opportunity for state and non-state actors to participate in consultation and deliberate on policies and best practices, as well as to take precautions into account when conducting hostilities.
According to Namdas,
“No effective protection strategy can be conceived without a sound understanding of the violations/abuses that were committed: this includes, inter alia, their rationale, their direct and indirect effects, and the social and legal framework in which they took place.”
While appreciating CISLAC and OSIWA for providing the resources needed to host the inauguration, the chairman waste no time in asking for funds to be dedicated to activities of the TWG.
” Our earnest request should be that some funds should be dedicated to activities not earlier scheduled as there might be specific resolutions to work on aspects that will help galvanize the objective of this working group,” he said.
Originally Published viaThe Gazette Nigeria