President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday says his administration accorded priority to improving civil security cooperation to enhance humanitarian intervention in the northeast.
Buhari made this known in Maiduguri at the inauguration of a three-day International Workshop on Improving Civil Security Cooperation in humanitarian intervention in northeast.
“I want to charge the minister of humanitarian affairs to ensure that issues and concern bordering on management of humanitarian cooperation are given greater attention,’’ Buhari, who was represented by Maj.-Gen. Salihi Magashi, Minister of Defence, said.
He said the workshop would provide opportunities for stakeholders to strategies and deliberate on the most effective and efficient ways to address challenges in the implementation of humanitarian actions in the region.
He noted that in many theaters of conflict across the globe, relationship between humanitarian and security actors responding to humanitarian crisis was always with mistrust and misunderstanding.
He added that: “In the northeast of Nigeria, the tension between the Civil Society Organizations and that of security agencies deteriorated into a full blown impasse this year which eventually resulted in the suspension of activities of some International Non-Governmental Organizations by the Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole.
“Our gathering here today is to strategise and stress importance of fostering better relationship between the military, para military and humanitarian actors in the face of crisis in the northeast.
“I should also remind us that with the proliferation of complex security issues in conflict zones, CSOs and security agencies need to work together on unprecedented scale as these challenges cannot be easily resolved by other side alone.
“These security issues are not just related to war on terror but also associated with security issues like humanitarian emergency, starvation, diseases, banditry and other organised crimes.
“The aftermath of these non-traditional security issues will involve post conflict construction, economic rejuvenation. This requires increasingly diverse ancillary task for both military and civilian organisations which necessitate collaboration.
“The complicated objectives of these activities require an integrated and coordinated response from a multitude of civilian and security actors”.
Sadiya Faruk, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, said that when civil-security relations were poorly managed, humanitarian action might be compounded by other security problems.
She said this would make it difficult for humanitarian organisations to operate independently in humanitarian environments.
She added 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.