UN commends FG over parley on civil security cooperation

Mr Edward Kallon, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator to Nigeria, has commended the Federal Government over the ongoing workshop on Civil Security Cooperation in Humanitarian Intervention (CISEC).

Kallon stated this while fielding questions from newsmen on the sideline of the exercise on Thursday in Maiduguri.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three-day workshop was organised by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

Kallon said the workshop would enhance intervention and support to persons affected by conflict in the country while availing stakeholders in the humanitarian sector to address challenges militating against effective interventions by organisations and security agencies.

“This is a ground breaking opportunity in the sense that this is the first time we are coming together to sit down and examine obstacles in our partnership.

“I do agree that there are concern of lack of trust but there is will on the part of humanitarian community to rebuild trust and better working relationship.

“We are ready to sit down with them and also agree on how we can do things better or do it differently, we have to put at the center of what we do the people we support.

“For us alleviating human sufferings remains critical, we are also very much clear about their concerns, those concerns go beyond Nigeria. It is a global concern especially when it come to the issues of humanitarian principles.”

Kallon added that they would be engaging the government and discuss ways to apply humanitarian principles within the context of their operations in the northeast.

Commenting on the impasse between the military and some of the humanitarian organisations, Kallon said they were discussing with the government to address the problems.

He said the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) had the implementation of a 7-point agenda frame work, to address issues of trust; better communication and accountability to the affected population and authorities.

“The framework is being presented to the government, these are recurrent issues that have been affecting partnership between the humanitarian community, military and the government. I am sure it will be resolved.”

While commending the military and other security agencies over their support, Kallon also called on parties to the conflict to dialogue through constructive political and peace building effort to end the crisis.

According to him, humanitarian organisations had provided support to over four million persons affected by the conflict in 2019, while 1.2 million others need critical life-saving assistance in the region.

The UN official added that 10 aid workers were killed and six abducted by the insurgents in the northeast in the past 18 months.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Mrs Sadiya Faruk, in her inaugural address noted that when civil-security relations were poorly managed, humanitarian action might be compounded by other security problems.

Faruk said that the trend makes it difficult for humanitarian organisations to operate independently in humanitarian environments.

She said that presence of security operatives in many of the crisis ridden areas make those communities safe and accessible for humanitarian actors to carry out their activities.

The minister stressed the need to ensure cordial and constructive relations between civil and security actors to enhance humanitarian interventions.

“The workshop will identify common priorities and complementary between civil organisations and security institutions in order to develop realistic and feasible proposals and outline a Plan of Action.

“This will strengthen institutions and ensure lasting solutions and structures are put in place so that those in need of humanitarian interventions can access support in a safe and peaceful environment,” Faruk said. (NAN)

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