Insecurity: Global Rights Advocacy Group Asks Nigeria to Embrace Dialogue

A global rights advocacy group, the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC), has asked the federal government to deploy dialogue and other peaceful engagement mechanisms in its efforts to address the lingering security challenge in the country.

The IHRC said the country would achieve more if it engaged those behind terrorism, banditry, agitations, and related activities in dialogue as against relying solely on force.

While noting that the government had recorded measurable achievements in its efforts at curbing insecurity, the IHRC sought the enhancement of the capacity of the security agencies and their prompt deployment to troubled areas.

IHRC’s Head of Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria, Hezekiah Duru expressed the group’s view while speaking in Abuja about a symposium on “International humanitarian law and conflicts: An African perspective,” being planned by the group for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on September 8.

Duru said: “At IHRC, we believe in the need for increased peace advocacy to protect the rights of people globally and to promote the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights amongst countries.

“It is critical and requires the support of all stakeholders to be sustained, particularly in Africa which has experienced some escalation of armed conflicts.

“The one thing that is common to the conflicts, however, is that the civilian population is often subjected to gross human rights violations and humanitarian disasters. The dire consequences of these events spin off into adverse international humanitarian crises which we now have in our hands in parts of the world, including Africa.

“These myriad circumstances and complexities, as we currently witness across the African continent are precisely the issues that create a problem and challenge to International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

“Like most laws, however, international humanitarian law needs and tends to respond to the challenge,” Duru said, adding that this realization informed the planned symposium.

Duru added: “The essence of this symposium is to focus on the justification and promotion of humanitarian intervention and peace-building in Africa, particularly in countries which unfortunately are experiencing armed conflict, either in the form of terrorism, wars, coup d’états, insurgencies, banditry. militancy, among others.

“The symposium is strategically set up to stimulate discussions, consult, and harvest the opinions of critical actors and successful experiences to help develop a logical action plan and strategy for a broad-based humanitarian engagement in conflict areas in Nigeria and Africa.

“Other unique highlights of this symposium include the presentation of the International Humanitarian Service Awards, which are designed to honour deserving citizens globally by the Secretary-General of the International Human Rights Commission in Switzerland as a major feature of his inaugural visit to Nigeria.”