Human rights group to investigate US claims of CJTF role in counter-insurgency war

Human rights group to investigate US claims of CJTF role in counter-insurgency war

- Nigeria has be listed among countries that recruits child solders in the world

- The countries also said to have violated the act, according to the report include, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen

- International human rights group, the Global Amnesty Watch (GAW) is set to investigate the allegations as regards Nigeria

Global Amnesty Watch (GAW) has called for caution as it declares it would investigate allegations of the use of child soldiers in the counter-insurgency war in the North-east of Nigeria which is in breach of the Child Soldier Prohibition Act (CSPA) 2008.

GAW's position came after the United States 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report accused Nigerian authorities of engaging persons below the age of 18 in military operations against terrorists in areas ravaged by Boko Haram.

The group noted there was need to take the report in context to ensure no one inadvertently handed advantage to defeated terrorists to regroup.

Human rights group to investigate US claims of CJTF role in counter-insurgency war

CJTF role in the counter-insurgency war is well documented

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In a statement sent to NAIJ.com and signed by its director, Africa affairs, Mr John Tom Lever, GAW explained that part of the shift the world urgently requires is to not to adopt simplistic view of crisis situations because of fixation on international perspectives.

They argued that such perceptions tend to come off with an air of imperial dominance while jeopardizing the interest of the vulnerable population that should be protected.

NAIJ.com gathered that the investigation to be conducted by GAW would explore how much of context could be brought to the report.

Part of the statement read: “For instance, we will like to establish if youths that were empowered with skills to be able to escape invading terrorists were stereotyped as "child soldiers" or whether persons whose growths were stunted as a result of the harsh environment brought about by terrorists' activities were labeled as under age.

“We will also want to establish if young people in the quest for adventure and excitement lied to join the local Civilian JTF, which came about as a result of the determination of the people living in the affected area to defend themselves against the carnage being unleashed by Boko Haram terrorists.

“The extent to which, if any, incidents of underage persons involvement in the conflict was made known to military authorities would also be reviewed since information at our disposal is to the effect that the government troops do not enlist persons below the internationally accepted age bracket.”

According to Tom Lever, the findings of the investigation will be made public at the right time.

The group however cautioned interested parties to the Boko Haram insurgency to be cautious in their reports since there is the danger of the wording of some documents being construed as indicting the government and supporting the terrorists that made life a living hell for citizens.

Human rights group to investigate US claims of CJTF role in counter-insurgency war

The Nigerian military has continued its onslaught against Boko Haram despite occasional distractions

READ ALSO: Fulani herdsmen now worse than Boko Haram - Army officer cries out

Meanwhile, a total of 680 members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) are said to have died trying to repel Boko Haram terrorists attacks in Borno from 2012 to date, according to the group's legal officer, Mr Junril Gunda.

Gunda said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri on Friday, June 30, that in spite of the high casualty figure, the JTF remain undaunted in its resolve to protect communities in the state from the terrorists.

Watch a video report of the recently released Chibok girls by Boko Haram on NAIJ.com TV below:

Source: Naija.ng

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