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North-East: Insurgency claims 35,000 lives in 14 years – UNHCR

 

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said Friday that at least 35,000 people have died as a result of the insurgency in northeastern Nigeria since it started in 2009.


This was disclosed by the head of the UNHCR’s office in Adamawa, Mrs. Elsie Mills-Tetty, at a training session on human rights, humanitarian principles, and civilian protection held in Yola for military personnel.


Citing last month’s report by the Global Center for Responsibility to Protect, Mills-Tetty, who was represented by the Assistant Protect Officer, Umar Abdullahi, said the implications of acts of insurgency to the economic and social developments of states in the region and the country at large could not be overemphasized.


According to her, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said it investigated complaints on human rights violations and also assisted victims to seek redress.


Mills-Tetty said: “Cumulatively, the commission received 2.314 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.”


In his address, the Executive Secretary, NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, said the training was aimed at mainstreaming human rights into the counter-insurgency efforts of troops in the North-East.


Ojukwu, who was represented by his Special Assistant, Benedict Agu, commended the 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.


 

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