By Raphael Jov, Abuja
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 mobilised 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.