By Lawrence Audu
In an effort to bolster peace and stability throughout Nigeria, the Nigerian Army (NA) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have committed to fortifying their partnership. This collaboration aims to advance the frontiers of stability by focusing on the provision of security, humanitarian aid, and upholding international humanitarian law (IHL).
The pledge to strengthen this cooperative effort was emphasized on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, as Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), welcomed the ICRC delegation led by Mr. Yann Bonzon at the Army Headquarters in Abuja.
This meeting solidified the determination of both entities to work hand in hand in expanding the reach of peace and stability across the nation.
Mr Yann, while briefing the COAS said, the ICRC is committed to providing humanitarian assistance in conflict zones worldwide, similar to what it is doing in North-East Nigeria, where troops are conducting counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations. He said, through cordial working relationship with the NA, the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) has been able to carry out its established responsibilities in different parts of the country. He therefore, sued for its sustenance.
In his remarks, the COAS appreciated the ICRC for its commitment in the provision of humanitarian aids, which he noted, has improved the living condition of victims of conflict in troubled areas.
Speaking on the capacity building efforts of the NA with regards to knowledge and application of International Humanitarian Laws in the conduct of operations, the Army Chief pointed out, that the NA has codified its protocol, which is now employed as teaching guides for NA personnel.
He affirmed that ICRC package is taught in all NA institutions for Non- Commissioned Officers, Senior Non- Commissioned Officers and junior officers to ensure they understand the expectations and weight placed on them to meet international best practice.
The COAS lauded the ICRC for its collaboration in the areas of training, and medical assistance among others, pledging that the NA will strengthen viable partnership with the ICRC and other statutory organizations in order to bring relief and succour to victims of conflict and expand the frontiers of security and stability in the country.