12.6 C
Sunday, June 16, 2024

Civil-military relations: CLEEN advocates transparency, accountability in security operations

Must read

CLEEN Foundation has recommended enhanced transparency and accountability in security operations to tackle alleged military abuses on civilian populace.

The Foundation’s Executive Director, Mr. Gad Peter gave the recommendation during the public presentation of research findings on “Security Dynamics, Solutions and Civil-Military Relations in North-West and North-East” held in Abuja on Wednesday.

Giving the background of the presentation, Peter said, “In the last decade, Zamfara, Borno, Plateau and other States in North-east, North-central and North-west Nigeria have continued to suffer developmental challenges as a result of extreme group: Boko Haram and ISWAP as well as rural bandits. The Nigerian military was deployed on internal missions in the States affected by the insurgency in order to subdue the array of attacks on the civilian population.

“The Nigerian military, alongside other security agencies, have significantly degraded the capacity of the Boko Haram insurgents, and internally displaced people and refugees are now returning to their communities. The Military and the Vigilante groups such as the Civilian Joint Task Force and organized hunters who have supported the fight against Boko Haram present a unique challenge in how they relate with members of the host communities.

“These issues were compounded by the kinetic approach initially adopted by the military and other dysfunctional approaches adopted by the security agencies thus creating a vacuum in cordial civil-military relations in the affected states in North East and North West Nigeria. Adopting Non–kinetic approaches by the military and non-military security forces, and improving their effectiveness in the fight against insurgency is an urgent necessity to improve civil-military relations.”

Highlighting the findings of the research, the Executive Director said, “Firstly, there is an unequivocal need for enhanced transparency and accountability within security agencies. This entails ensuring that mechanisms are in place to investigate and address abuses promptly and effectively.

“Community engagement takes center stage as a vital component of improving civil-military relations.

“Building trust between security agencies and their communities is a two-way endeavour.

“Furthermore, the assessment underscores the importance of continuous dialogue and communication between security agencies, policymakers, civil society organizations, and the broader public.

“Transparency in security operations, as well as the dissemination of accurate information, helps dispel misconceptions and mitigates tensions that can arise due to a lack of understanding.”

According to Peter, the research recommended enhancing transparency and accountability in security operations, emphasizing that security agencies should establish clear mechanisms for reporting and addressing abuses promptly and impartially. Conduct regular internal investigations into alleged abuses by military personnel and ensure that perpetrators are held accountable through appropriate legal channels.

Other recommendations include: “Implementation of community engagement programs to facilitate open dialogue between security agencies and the civilian population.

Gender-Sensitive Approaches in the Rules of Engagement: Develop gender-sensitive training programs for security personnel to address issues such as sexual violence and harassment, with a focus on respecting the rights and dignity of women and girls.

“Youth Engagement: Design outreach and communication strategies aimed at engaging youth in security-related initiatives, including efforts to counter extremism and promote community safety.

“Public Awareness Campaigns: Launch public awareness campaigns that educate communities about the presence of security agencies in their communities.

“Inter-Agency Collaboration: Encourage and facilitate collaboration and coordination among security agencies, particularly in crises. Joint Task Forces should work seamlessly to provide efficient responses to security threats.

“Holistic Security Approaches: Develop holistic security strategies that consider gender-specific preferences and address the population’s diverse needs.

“Ongoing Assessment and Research: Conduct regular assessments and research to monitor evolving perceptions and preferences of civilians regarding security agencies.

“Civil Society Engagement: Encourage civil society organizations to advocate for the rights of victims actively, provide legal assistance to those affected by abuses, and hold security agencies accountable for their actions.

“Government Commitment: The government should demonstrate a strong commitment to addressing security challenges and abuses, by addressing issues around poverty, inequalities in the communities and also allocating sufficient resources to security agencies supporting intelligent led security approaches and implementing policy reforms where necessary.”

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article