*As Kukah, Ozekhome speak at Int’ humanitarian law, armed conflicts symposium
Alex Enumah in Abuja
The International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has advocated the use of dialogue as against force in resolving the numerous challenges bordering on insecurity and agitations across the country.
Besides the issue of terrorism and banditry ravaging the northeast and northwest, the challenge of kidnapping runs through the entire north and parts of the south, while activities of unknown gunmen holds sway in the southeast.
While stating that the government has recorded measurable achievements in tackling insecurity, the IHRC however, called for the enhancement of the capacity of security agencies and their prompt deployment to troubled areas.
The Head of IHRC’s office in Nigeria, Dr. Hezekiah Duru expressed the group’s view while speaking in respect of a symposium on “International Humanitarian Law and Armed Conflicts: An African perspective,” scheduled for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“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 that 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 right 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”, he said.
Duru further pointed out that these myriad circumstances and complexities, as currently witnessed across the African continent are precisely the issues that create a problem and challenge to International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
He disclosed that 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, etc.
The group which disclosing that foremost activists like the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah and Constitutional Lawyer, Prof Mike Ozekhome, SAN, have been confirmed as Keynote Speakers, added that there will be a panel of discussants comprising high-level institutional and individual experts following the lecture.
“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.”