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Amid security challenges in Nigeria, Army deploys troops to South Sudan

The Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peace Keeping Centre, on Wednesday, rounded off the training of 157 Army troops deployed for a peacekeeping mission to Abyei in South Sudan.

This deployment is coming at a time when Nigeria is faced with several security challenges ranging from banditry, terrorism, and herders/farmers conflicts, to kidnapping amongst others.

Many security experts have expressed the need for the enlistment of more security personnel to effectively address the numerous security challenges.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deployed troops, mainly from Nigerian Company 2 to the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (NIGCOY 2 UNISFA), consisted of 15 officers and 142 soldiers.

Maj.-Gen. Boniface Sinjen, the Chief of Operations, Army Headquarters, addressed the troops at their pre-deployment graduation ceremony, saying the occasion demonstrated the commitment and capacity of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to deploy quality peacekeepers as part of its contributions to global peace and security.

According to him, Nigeria’s National Defence Policy remains the security and stability of Africa with specific emphasis on the West African sub-region.

He said that Nigeria continued to seek global peace and security by contributing and participating in Peace Support Operations around the world.

To this end, Singen said Nigeria had successfully participated in over 40 peacekeeping missions and had deployed more than 100,000 peacekeepers since her first mission in the Congo in 1960.

“All Nigerian peacekeepers alongside others from around the world have aided the course of humanity while helping nations in distress to restore peace and enthrone much-desired development.

“The UNISFA was established to restore peace and stability in Abyei after the demilitarisation of Abyei in June 2011, making it an administrative town under the control of the United Nations.

“Essentially, the mission is mandated to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, protect the area from incursions by unauthorised elements and ensure security.

“The mission has also helped to restore peace and stability in Abyei through the professional conduct of the troops,” he said.

He urged the contingent to shun acts such as sexual exploitation and abuse and other mission misconducts capable of tarnishing the image of Nigeria.

Singen also mandated them to always be guided by the rules of engagement while observing human rights and respect for diversity in the operating environment.

Earlier, the Commandant of MLAILPKC, Maj.-Gen. Ademola Adedoja, said the unit began the 6-week pre-deployment training on Jan. 27, 2024.

He said the pre-deployment training was to equip the earmarked unit with the requisite skills and knowledge to function effectively and efficiently in their deployment to Abyei. (NAN)

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