In efforts aimed at fortifying partnership, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) have both stressed the need to intensify their collaboration in promoting International Humanitarian Laws (IHL). The ICRC, renowned for its impartial and humanitarian missions worldwide, has played a pivotal role in training numerous NAF officers and enlisted personnel on IHL principles. This is in line with the ICRC's commitment to protecting the lives and dignity of those affected by war and internal violence. The organization's collaboration with armed forces worldwide extends to working closely with the NAF and advocating for the adherence to laws governing armed conflicts during hostilities. These were disclosed during a recent visit by the ICRC team, led by Mr Yann Bonzon, to the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, at NAF Headquarters.
Speaking further, Mr Yann disclosed that the ongoing collaboration between the NAF and ICRC reflects a shared commitment to upholding humanitarian values and ensuring the humane treatment of individuals impacted by armed conflicts. He also noted that the dialogue between the 2 organizations serves as a testament to their dedication to advancing humanitarian efforts and fostering a culture of respect for human rights amid the challenges posed by conflict situations. While commending the NAF for its efforts in ensuring personnel adherence to IHL, Mr Yann used the opportunity to convey his appreciation for NAF's unwavering support and the protection provided to ICRC staff during their humanitarian activities, particularly in the Northeast and other operational areas across the country. He also expressed the organization's commitment to continue dialogue with the NAF until common ground is reached on addressing humanitarian needs.
In his response, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, extended his gratitude for ICRC's substantial contributions to NAF’s activities. He specifically noted the impactful role played by ICRC in areas of humanitarian assistance, training, and research in operational theatres, units, colleges, and training institutions. He also emphasized the positive influence of ICRC's involvement in enhancing the handling of humanitarian activities. Speaking further, Air Marshal Abubakar echoed the sentiments of collaboration and cooperation and reiterated NAF's readiness to engage with ICRC and other organizations in ensuring the adherence of humanitarian laws while executing operations. The meeting concluded on a positive note, highlighting the commitment of both organizations to jointly address, and overcome humanitarian challenges.