The Role of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Non-International Armed Conflict: a Case Study of Boko Haram Insurgency in North-East Nigeria

ABSTRACT

Many citizens of Nigeria have fallen victim to armed conflicts and other forms of violence in Nigeria, especially those in the Northern part of  Nigeria. These conflicts have led to loss of lives, destruction of properties and various human rights breaches in alarming proportions. In view of the volatile situation of the North-East region in Nigeria, the ICRC, an impartial, neutral, independent non-governmental organisation with the primary function to provide humanitarian aid and relief and protection to victims of armed conflict situations has been forced to step in so as to secure some form of stability in the region. Deriving its mandate from the Geneva Conventions and its Additional Protocols, the Committee provides protection for all categories of victims of armed conflict. This paper examines the role of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Non-International Armed Conflict, particularly in the ethno-religious conflict prevalent in the North-East part of Nigeria. The paper found that the good activities of the ICRC are always impeded in several ways. Some of these limitations are; lack of proper enforcement of IHL and inadequate awareness programmes. The paper recommends that these limitations can be surmounted by the enforcement and implementation of the rules of International Humanitarian Law in Nigeria, and by ensuring stricter control of conventional arm transfer in Nigeria. It is further recommended that enlightenment and awareness programmes on the rules of IHL be organised regularly for both arm carriers and the civilian population.   Read More…