The Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Rogers Nicholas has assured the United Nations Children and Educational Fund (UNICEF) of troops’ commitment to the protection of civilians in the North East theatre of operations. General Nicholas gave the assurance today, while receiving UNICEF’s Chief of Field Office, Mr. Geoffrey Ijumba, at the Headquarters, Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri.
Addressing the UNICEF delegation, the Theatre Commander asserted that the Theatre Command is open to constructive criticisms that will impact positively on the ongoing Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency operations in the North East.
He frowned at blanket and unsubstantiated claims and allegations touted by some individuals and organizations in the media without diligent investigations.
General Nicholas further disclosed that the conduct of Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency operations in the North East is guided by Rules of Engagement, Code of conduct and international best practices, adding, that effective internal disciplinary mechanism in the form of a standing Court Marshall is instituted in the theatre to sanction erring personnel.
The Theatre Commander urged the UNICEF Chief of Field Office to partner with the Command in alleviating some of the challenges that are envisaged will confront Internally Displaced Persons, as they are being mobilized to return to their respective communities.
Noting that the Nigerian Military was the first to provide Humanitarian services to IDPs in the North East in the form of evacuation of civilians from conflict areas, providing health care and education for the children, the UNICEF Chief urged the Theatre Command to sustain the professional conduct of its operations and keep the channels of communication open for viable interface on sensitive issues that may affect the operations.
He assured the Theatre Command of UNICEF’s commitment to the Principles of Humanitarian laws in the conduct of her Humanitarian activities in the theatre of operation.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Military has received commendations for her “selfless devotion to the global war against terrorism and attainment of peace for all mankind”.
The certificate of commendation was presented recently by the Coordinator, Global Amnesty Watch (GAW) Switzerland, Mr. David Falt, to the Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole, in a brief but colorful ceremony held at Maimalari, Cantonment Maiduguri,
Presenting the Certificate, the Coordinator GAW lauded the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole for the diligent conduct of the Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency operations in the North East, adding that the tremendous progress so far achieved in the entire theatre of operation deserves commendation.
He recalled also that ‘about three years ago, pupils were not in school and the towns were deserted, but with the rejigging of the operations under the current military leadership, the story has changed for good’.
Mr. Falt also pointed out, that the operational successes of the troops facilitated the speedy return of normalcy and socio- economic life to many towns and villages in the North East.
Receiving the Commendation Award, the Theatre Commander, who was represented by his Deputy, Commodore Aminu Hassan expressed appreciation to Global Amnesty Watch for recognizing the effort and contributions of Operation Lafiya Dole troops to the war on global terrorism.
He stated that the troops are in high morale and remain relentless in the war on terror.
The Theatre Commander stressed further, that the award will serve to motivate the Theatre Command, as well as the Armed Forces to sustain the good work and ultimately defeat the terrorists, Commodore Hassan assured the international body of troops ‘ commitment to professionally discharge their duties in conformity with extant Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct that regulate the conduct of operation in the theatre of operation.
Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu
Deputy Director Public Relations
Theatre Command operation Lafiya Dole
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