The Theatre Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru on Friday reaffirmed the zero tolerance disposition of Operation Lafiya Dole towards gender based violence in the ongoing fight against insurgency in North East Nigeria.
General Attahiru made this assertion when he received the Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms Pramila Patten at the Headquarters, Theatre Command in Maiduguri.
Speaking further, the Theatre Commander pointed out the Command’s commitment to the protection of women and children from gender based violence as it tends to undermine the dignity, security and autonomy of victims, noting that it has been globally identified as a major challenge in conflict situations.
He added that, the Theatre Command has adopted both preventive and punitive approaches to mitigate the challenge.
He described the preventive measures to include the introduction of International Humanitarian Law and Fundamental Human Rights in the Pre-induction training curriculum of troops before they are inserted into the operation.
Drawing the attention of the Representative of the UN Secretary General to Operation Lafiya Dole’s Code of Conduct pamphlet, which he said, clearly prohibits any act of sexual exploitation and abuse by troops.
General Attahiru stated that aside from the sensitization and training of troops on gender based violence prevention, a punitive approach is also in place in the Nigerian Military Justice system, which provides for the prosecution of erring personnel.
He also shed light on the emplacement of Human Rights Desks at all Nigerian Army Divisions, Brigades and Battalions where issues bothering on gender based violence and other forms of abuses are reported and promptly handled by trained staff.
He disclosed that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole had severally rescued women and children from Boko Haram insurgents, who in total disregard for Human Rights and international humanitarian laws held them hostage and violated them.
He enjoined the United Nations to bring the leadership of the terror group to book for sexually violating women and young girls in the post conflict period.
In her remarks, Pramila Patten, who was accompanied by a retinue of senior officials from the United Nations, expressed appreciation for the support provided by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole to Humanitarian agencies reaching out to conflict affected communities in the north east.
She urged the Theatre Command to be more systematic in its approach to gender based violence.
Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu
Deputy Director Public Relations
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