CIVIC Senior Advisor for Programs, Nigeria Chitra Nagarajan discusses civilian protection, the Nigerian military, and CIVIC’s work in the region in an article published by the Humanitarian Practice Network:
The Nigerian government has taken these steps in part in response to international pressure to improve the military’s record on human rights, including the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation into the situation in north-east Nigeria, as well as media coverage of particular incidents of civilian harm. Beyond this, however, there is increasing realisation among political and military decision-makers that a sole focus on ‘defeating the enemy’ is not enough to win this particular war: it also means winning the support of civilians. In some locations, we have seen changes in the way the military is engaging, with civilians telling us that ‘soldiers are not like they were before’. This is far from uniform across the region, but it does provide an entry point for building commitment to civilian protection and providing concrete tools to operationalise it.