African Bar Association (AFBA) has expressed worry over the increasing levels of abuses by government forces in the various theatres of conflict across the continent.
It noted that the conflict is caused by political and institutional factors, which include, weak state institutions, elite power struggles, political exclusion, breakdown in social contact and corruption and identity politics.
AfBA listed other factors as inequality, exclusion, marginalisation, absence or weakening of social cohesion, poverty, greed, scarcity of national resources leading to environmental insecurity and unjust resource exploitation.
Speaking at a media parley in Lagos, the president, AfBA, Hannibal Uwaifo, while acknowledging the legitimacy of state actors and institutions to protect and keep national boundaries and territories secured from terrorists, bandits and criminals, emphasised the importance of international humanitarian law in the conduct of security forces in the areas of conflict.
According to him, a report on the economic costs of violent extremism in Africa organised by the UNDP and the Institute for Economics and peace (IEP) in 2020, 16 out of 18 focus countries have lost an average of $97 billion yearly in informal economic activity since 2007.
Uwaifo noted that in line with this, AfBA is co-organising a training with the Nigerian Defence Headquarters, from June 8 to 10, 2022 at the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre, Abuja.
The conference, which is for lawyers, academics, human rights organisations, anti-corruption authorities, judges, magistrates, judicial staff and the public, is themed: “Enhancing the operational capacities of African Armed Forces and Security Agencies: Law as a vital instrument.”
He stated that the conference and training workshops would deal essentially with the building operational capacities for military lawyers, senior military officers who hold command and administrative positions.
“The conference shall also focus on the legal boundaries of counter-terrorism operations, implications for human rights and humanitarian law.
“It should also focus on conducting safe and legal security operations, searches, evidence gathering, how to conduct and how to obtain, all for National interest and capacity building,” he said.
Credit: Guardian news