Boko Haram: We’re investigating soldiers for rights violations – NHRC

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The National Human Rights Commission has said it is investigating allegations of human rights violations against soldiers involved in the counter-insurgency campaign in the North-East.

The commission vowed that soldiers found guilty would not go unpunished.

A statement on Thursday quoted the Executive Secretary, NHRC, Mr Anthony Ojukwu, to have said this in Damaturu, Yobe State, on Wednesday at the opening of a two-day training in human rights protection for soldiers involved in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists.

The NHRC organised the training in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Ojukwu was represented by the Assistant Director, Investigation and Monitoring, NHRC, Iheme Richmond.

He explained that the training was “aimed at brainstorming with the military on civilian protection,” in the ongoing counter-insurgency war in the North-East.

“This training is aimed at improving the knowledge of the military on human rights, humanitarian principles and civilian protection in the course of counter-insurgency operations.

“There have been allegations of human rights violation against the military in the course of their operations, ranging from extrajudicial killings, prolonged detention without trial, torture and sexual exploitation, among others.

“So we are partnering the UNHCR to ensure the integration of human rights standards and humanitarian considerations in the military operations in order to reduce the incidents.

“The allegations are being investigated and perpetrators would be held accountable,” Ojukwu said.

According to the statement, “more than 50 frontline military (personnel) and police officers attended the training.”

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