Nigeria Military strategizes on civilian protection

Chika Eze, Abuja

The Nigerian military seeks ways of minimizing incidental or accidental harm of innocent civilians in the counter insurgency operations in the north eastern part of the country.

The Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin who was represented by the Chief of Administration, Rear Admiral Andrew Dacosta , said civilian protection should be considered during planning, training and operations to minimize civilian casualties especially in the war against Boko Haram insurgents in the North-east.

It’s instructive to factor in civilian protection in our planning training and actual operations. The implementation civilian protestation measures would better position us to achieve our objectives of restoring security, while minimizing casualties among our personnel and preventing incidental harm to civilians,” he said.

Similarly, a collateral damage estimate and targeting training course is underway at the Nigerian Army Resource Center, Abuja.

The programme facilitated by the British military training advisory team is to build capacity of the Nigeria armed forces in intelligence based targeting which minimizes collateral damage in military operations.

The chief of training and operations at the Defence Headquarters, Major General Ahmed Mohammed  who was represented by the Chief of Defense staff General Gabriel Olonosakin, said the training is essential in the fight against insurgency in the North east.

“Having reviewed our past operations, we have identified the need to enhance our planning capability to manage and assess collateral damage associated with operations,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Military in line with the federal government’s ‘Change Begins with Me’ reorientation campaign is embarking on a sensitization campaign with the theme ‘the Armed forces of Nigeria yesterday, today and the Future targeted at officer and men.’

The Director of transformation at the Defence Headquarters, navy commodore Shuwa Abdulraham Mohammed says the essence of the campaign is to instil discipline, ethics, value system, service delivery, attitudinal change and patriotism to the officers and men of the armed forces of Nigeria.

Commodore Mohammed also added that the exercise would bring about positive attitudinal change among members of the armed forces of Nigeria.