Lieutenant Colonel Eric Lyon, U.S. Africa Command Office of Legal Counsel wrote
I recently returned from Abuja, Nigeria, where I had the privilege of helping present an executive-level seminar on Human Rights and International Law to senior members of the Nigerian Armed Forces. This seminar was jointly conducted by the U.S. Africa Command Office of Legal Counsel and the Defense Institute for International Legal Studies (DIILS). The purpose of the seminar was to provide participants a U.S. view of the relevant legal standards in international agreements and customary international law, provide examples of domestic human rights and humanitarian law, and promote respect for civilian authority. The legal team and attendees discussed topics such as Respect for Civilian Control of the Military, the Legal Aspects of Combating Terrorism, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Throughout the conference, the instructors and attendees engaged in open and frank discussion about legal issues of common interest to Nigeria and the United States and shared lessons learned. The seminar attendees were articulate and well-educated, professional, and very receptive to the topics presented. Not only did I enjoy the interaction during our presentations, but also the less formal conversations during breaks and lunch when we discussed more broad ranging topics such as recent U.S. elections, the economy, terrorism and soccer. An overall positive experience from both sides and acknowledgment that future similar training and engagement opportunities would be most appreciated.”