Nigeria: Military, OSIWA Differ On Calls to Compel Terrorists to Surrender

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, has tasked the human rights community to mount pressure on Boko Haram and Islamic State of West African Province (ASWAP) fighters to drop their weapons and come to the negotiation table.

However, the executive director, Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Aisha Osori, said it is not the duty of the human rights groups to do so.

She said, "We don't recognise terrorists and they also don't recognise us and we can't mount any pressure on them, that is why we are holding our armed forces to task to put an end to those who have taken up arms against the state, but in doing so, we should not degenerate to the level of the terrorists by disrespecting human rights."

At the opening ceremony of the a three-day training on African Commission Guidelines on Human Rights in Counter Terrorism Operations organized by the Centre for Strategic Research and Studies of the National Defence College in collaboration with OSIWA, Gen. Irabor said if the human rights crusaders take the campaign for the respect of the human rights provisions to the terror organisations, the conflict will be resolved faster with attendant reduction in the carnage.

perpetrated against innocent citizens.

"What I need to put forward to you and of course, the other actors within the human rights system, is that often times you find out that greater attention is given to the government forces that are dealing with terrorism with little or very minimal attention being given to the adversaries, the Boko Harm and the ISWAP.

"I believe that the conflict can be easily resolved if or will be resolved faster than this if the same measure of pressure that is being brought on the government forces to respect human rights commissions is brought on the adversaries to the extent that conflicts of such nature can be resolved, thereby reducing carnage that is being perpetrated against the innocent citizens, who in the first place are even ware of the contending issues that gave rise to the conflict," Irabor said.

In his remarks, the executive secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Anthony Ojukwu, called for intelligence driven counter terrorism operations that will shield innocent citizens from the carnage of war.

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