WASHINGTON—After this week’s Nigerian Defence Headquarters’ statement on the bombing of the IDP camp in Rann, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)’s Senior Director of Programs Marla Keenan issued the following statement:
“The January bombing of the IDP camp in Borno by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is a stark reminder that the Nigerian government and its security forces should work quickly to further develop their capabilities to protect civilians during military operations. If they fail to do so, they risk civilian lives in future preventable incidents.
“We encourage the Nigerian military to share with the general public the findings from the Board of Inquiry and to release the full report on the incident in accordance with global best practices on investigations into civilian harm.
“CIVIC acknowledges the positive step, described by Air Commodore Adesanya on July 24, to provide medical care to IDPs in Borno state. However, there is much more to do to ensure the civilians harmed at Rann receive the help they deserve and that civilians are better protected in future operations.
“We further encourage the Nigerian government and security forces to:
- Create and fund a government-wide Protection of Civilians (POC) policy to build the capacity of the Nigerian military and security forces to effectively protect civilians from various armed non-state actors as well as from their own operations.
- Continue efforts to make amends to the victims of the Rann bombing.
“CIVIC believes that if the Nigerian government takes the hard but necessary steps to better protect civilians during and after military operations, relations between civilians and the Nigerian military and security forces will improve. Civilians should not have to fear those who should be their protectors.”
- ‘When We Can’t See the Enemy, Civilians Become the Enemy’: Living Through Nigeria’s Six-Year Insurgency (CIVIC report)
- Nigerian Air Force deeply regrets RANN Bombing incident (Reference Nigeria)
- Nigerian Jet Mistakenly Bombs Refugee Camp, Killing Scores (New York Times)
Note to editors:
Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)’s mission is to improve protection for civilians caught in conflicts around the world. We call on and advise international organizations, governments, militaries, and armed non-state actors to adopt and implement policies to prevent civilian harm. When civilians are harmed we advocate for the provision of amends and post-harm assistance. We bring the voices of civilians themselves to those making decisions affecting their lives.
For more information, contact Piper Hendricks at firstname.lastname@example.org.