The International Human Rights Commission (IHRC), a global advocacy group, has called upon the Nigerian federal government to prioritize dialogue and peaceful engagement methods in its efforts to address the ongoing security challenges within the country. The IHRC emphasizes that Nigeria can achieve more by engaging in dialogue with those involved in terrorism, banditry, agitations, and related activities rather than relying solely on the use of force.
While acknowledging the government’s measurable achievements in curbing insecurity, the IHRC has urged for an enhancement of the capacity of security agencies and their swift deployment to troubled regions.
Hezekiah Duru, the Head of Diplomatic Mission of IHRC in Nigeria, conveyed the group’s stance during an address in Abuja. He discussed an upcoming symposium titled “International Humanitarian Law and Conflicts: An African Perspective,” scheduled for September 8 in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Duru further stated, “At IHRC, we believe in the necessity for increased peace advocacy to safeguard the rights of people globally and to promote the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights among countries. It is a critical endeavor that requires the support of all stakeholders, particularly in Africa, which has witnessed an escalation of armed conflicts.”
He emphasized that civilian populations in conflict areas often endure grave human rights violations and humanitarian crises, leading to adverse international humanitarian crises. These challenges underscore the importance of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in responding to these complex circumstances.
The planned symposium aims to address the justification and promotion of humanitarian intervention and peace-building in Africa, particularly in countries grappling with armed conflicts such as terrorism, wars, coup d’états, insurgencies, banditry, militancy, and more.
Duru explained, “The symposium is strategically designed to facilitate discussions, consultations, and the gathering of insights from key stakeholders and successful experiences. This will contribute to the development of a logical action plan and strategy for comprehensive humanitarian engagement in conflict areas in Nigeria and across Africa.”
Notably, the symposium will also feature the presentation of the International Humanitarian Service Awards, intended to recognize deserving global citizens. These awards will be presented by the Secretary-General of the International Human Rights Commission in Switzerland as a significant aspect of his inaugural visit to Nigeria.