Red Cross to train Nigeria’s new tactical force-SWAT, as protests continue nationwide
London, Oct. 19, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will help train Nigeria’s new tactical force -anti robbery squad SWAT as thousands nationwide continued to march against police brutality and in demand of further reforms
SWAT training will begin on Monday in partnership with the ICRC and “other development partners”, Mohammed Adamu, inspector general of police, said in a statement. Former SARS officers are not eligible to join SWAT, the statement said.
Nigerian RedCross Society @nrcs_ng ,Delta State Branch First Aid training organised by Sapele division for participants from, Police force, FRSC, Fire Service, Civil Defence, immigration, NYSC, and the Dept Of State Security. pic.twitter.com/MQXJFsaJH5— Nigerian Red Cross Society HQ (@nrcs_ng) June 29, 2018
The new unit, the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, was created to “fill the gaps” left when police disbanded SARS on October 11.
The ICRC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But Police said the ICRC would join training on humanitarian laws, police conduct in conflict, and human rights in the use of force, arrest and detention.
Adamu said the new Police Tactical Team will operate within very high professional and ethical standards, rule of law and dictates of best international policing practices.
In pursuant of the objectives, he said the NPF is partnering with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other Development Partners for the training of the team
“Specifically, they (Red Cross society) will handle topics touching on humanitarian laws, police conduct in conflict situation, human rights standard especially in the use of force and firearms, arrest and detention amongst others.
“Other areas of the training program will include modern-day police ethics and values, Intelligence-led policing, Operation planning/Tactical decision making processes, Hostage rescue tactics and operation, weapon handling, first aid/basic life saving skills, stress/fear management, police-citizens relations and emotional intelligence etc.
“The training modules will be handled by other carefully selected development partners, security experts as well as veterans from the civil society and human rights community.
The training will hold at the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Training School, Ila Oragun, Osun State and the PMF Training School, Ende Hills, Nasarawa State.
He notes that the officers selected for the training are young, smart and energetic officers who have acquired not less than seven (7) years working experience with clean service records.
According to him, the SWAT recruits have no pending disciplinary matters, no record of violation of rights of citizens or misuse of firearms – and are physically fit to withstand the rigour of SWAT Training and Operations.
“The selected officers shall be subjected to physical fitness test, medical and toxicology screening etc and those found to be unsuitable shall be discharged”, the IGP said.
Protests began roughly two weeks ago demanding the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which was accused by Nigerians and groups such as Amnesty International of extortion, brutality and torture.
The police force has repeatedly denied the accusations against SARS, though it said earlier this month that “unruly and unprofessional” officers had been arrested and were facing disciplinary actions
Senate President Ahmad Lawan, after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, called on protesters to stand down in light of the steps leaders had taken.
But protesters are demanding further protections against the police, including independent oversight and psychological evaluation of officers.
Hundreds joined a prayer march on Saturday in Port Harcourt, and peaceful marches and demonstrations continued in Lagos, Abuja, Warri, Enugu and Makurdi. Supporters launched an online radio station to bolster the movement.
Most demonstrations are now peaceful, after authorities barred police from using force against protesters