The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) says no fewer than 35,000 people have been killed since the inception of the insurgency in the North-East in 2009 to August 2023.
Mrs Elsie Mills-Tetty, UNHCR’s Head of the Adamawa Office, disclosed this at a training for military personnel on human rights, humanitarian principles, and civilian protection in Yola on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in collaboration with UNHCR.
Mills-Tetty, who was represented by Umar Abdullahi, Assistant Protection Officer, said this was according to the “Global Center for Responsibility to Protect” report of August 2023.
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According to her, the implication of these acts to the economic and social development of Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Nigeria at large can never be overemphasized.
She added that in 2022, the NHRC reported that it investigated complaints on human rights as well as assisted victims in seeking redress.
Mills-Tetty said: “Cumulatively, the commission received 2314000 complaints. Adamawa had 65,456 complaints, which is approximately three per cent of the total complaints from the 36 states of the federation.
“The 2022 NHRC report also indicated that incidences of insurgency, banditry, kidnappings, farmers/herders clashes and attacks by gunmen continued to increase with the attendant number of internally displaced persons who face enormous human rights violations.”
She further called on the participants to take advantage of the training to boost their knowledge on human rights in the course of their duties.
In his address, Mr Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary, NHRC said the training was aimed at mainstreaming human rights into the counter-insurgency efforts of the Nigerian troops in the North-East.
Ojukwu, who was represented by his Special Assistant, Mr Benedict Agu, commended the Nigerian military and other law enforcement agencies for performing exceedingly well in containing insurgency.
He added: “To further sustain the gains made so far, the commission, in partnership with UNHCR is here to train key Military officers and men who are directly involved in the counter-insurgency operations in the North-East.
“The justification for this training cannot be overemphasized as the war against insurgency is complicated by the asymmetric nature of the conflict.
“The insurgents live within us and there is hardly a clearly drawn battle line between the insurgents and the civilian population,” he said.
Ojukwu urged the participants to ensure the implementation of the knowledge acquired while discharging their professional and private mandates. (NAN)