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DDRR Action Plan: Nigeria to strengthen justice system for victims, perpetrators of insurgency 

Babatunde Opalana 

 Nigeria has adopted an Action Plan for Demobilisation, Disassociation, Reintegration, and Reconciliation (DDRR) for treatment of victims and persons associated with Boko Haram and strengthen the justice system and promote respect for human rights and the rule of law.

The Nigerian Government through the Office of the National Security Adviser, Chief of Defence Staff and Federal Ministry of Justice with the support from International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on Tuesday at a high level conference held  at Transcorp Hilton, Hotel, Abuja adopt the Action Plan to bolster Nigeria’s Policy Framework and National Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.

Through its implementation and in accordance with the 1999 Constitution and national statutes, the Nigerian Government will enhance the investigative techniques for the screening of suspected Boko Haram associates, capacity for developing national terrorism database, provide training in investigative interview techniques as well as evidence gathering based on national legislation and rule of law.

Also, the legal framework will be strengthened and Standard Guidelines developed to reinforce access to justice, improve the condition of detention and protect human rights.

The Policy Framework will be implemented with a clear role for family members in the area of successful rehabilitation and reintegration of former violent extremists while the involvement of religious and community leaders is crucial to a successful reconciliation within communities.

In his remark, the National Security Adviser,  Major.General Babagana Monguno who was represented by Mr. Haliru Suleiman, appreciated the IOM and other partners for contributing towards the success of the policy document which he hoped would be embraced by government Ministries, Departments, and Parastatals (MDAs).

He said the Policy Framework was meant to developing DDRR strategies and frameworks tailored to country-specific challenges, institutional structures and capacities; developing nationally- owned operational processes for registration and vetting of those detained, as well as reinsertion, rehabilitation and reintegration processes of low-profile former Boko Haram associates, supporting governments to address individual-level vulnerabilities and incentives in rehabilitating and reintegration process.

The Chief of Defence Staff who was represented by Commodore Nnamdi Muogilim said the Operation Safe Corridor has established DDRR Centers in Gombe and Maiduguri while it has successfully carried out DDRR processes on some Boko Haram suspects, though with little challenges.

He sad the establishment of the Bulunkutu Rehabilitation Center in Maiduguri will foster off rampaging alternatives to Boko Haram low profile associates, as well as the furtherance of government’s efforts to rehabilitate and reintegrate victims, surrendered and repentant low profile associated.

He said these initiatives are crucial to community-based reconciliation and peacebuilding process.

The Chief of Mission, the United Nations Migration Agency IOM in Nigeria, Enira Krdzalic said Nigeria is definitely creating the appropriate conditions that will consolidate ‘off- rampaging’ options for Boko Haram low profile associates and a community-based reconciliation and reintegration process that contributes to peace and reduces the community factors that may drive individuals to the insurgency.

She said that since 2010, IOM n supporting Nigeria to reduce people’s vulnerability to trafficking and other forms of exploitation; and strengthen the framework for achieving sustainability in return and reintegration of migrants.

“After 20 years of DDRR experience and 30 DDRR operations around the world, including DDR work in Somalia and Columbia with similar context to the challenges that Nigeria is currently facing, IOM has committed to support the Government of Nigeria in integrating various elements of legal, prevention and peace-building throughout four key pillars”, she said.

She promised that IOM is willing to continue supporting the Federal Government of Nigeria as well as the States Governments of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa in their efforts to build long-term peace and reconciliation processes.

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