Centre graduates 182 soldiers for peacekeeping mission in Gambia
By Sani Idris [NAN]
The Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC) Jaji in Kaduna State on Friday, graduated 182 soldiers for peacekeeping mission in the Gambia.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, said the mission was to ensure security and stability in Africa with specific emphasis on the West African sub-region.
The COAS, represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Maj.-Gen. Nuhu Angbazo, noted that collective security and contribution to international peace and security were central to the overall objectives of Nigeria’s national defence policy.
Attahiru explained that participating in peace support operations was one of the specific tasks of the Armed Forces in realising the country’s international peace and security objectives.
He noted that since 1960, Nigeria had deployed over 20,000 peacekeepers to 40 missions in Africa and across the world.
“These peacekeepers with others from around the world have helped to pursue the common cause of humanity, assisted nations in distress and justified the presence and continuation of the work of UN as the most indispensable organisation,’’ he said.
The COAS also noted that member states had the responsibility for delivering pre-deployment training for their personnel prior to UN operations.
He explained that the training provides the essential knowledge required by all to function effectively in UN’s peacekeeping operations.
“The focus is to offer a shared understanding of the basic principles, guidelines and policies of UN peacekeeping to guide peacekeeping personnel as they carry out critical tasks to assist countries in the transition from conflict to peace,” Attahiru said.
He further explained that the techniques, processes and procedures the troops were exposed to during their three weeks training were intended to put them in good frame of mind to discharge their duties.
He urged them to discharge their duties in line with the mission’s mandate and in strict adherence to the rules of engagement of the mission.
“I must caution you to avoid any ugly incident that can tarnish the image of Nigerian Armed Forces in particular and the nation in general.
“Note that the United Nations and ECOWAS maintain zero tolerance policy on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse,” Attahiru added.
“I implore the commandant and his team to remain resolute in ensuring that the high standards achieved by this Centre are continuously maintained and improved upon,” he said.
Also, Commandant of MLAILPKC, Maj-Gen. James Ataguba, explained that participants were introduced to UN peacekeeping principles, unity of mission partners and comprehensive protection of civilians.
He said the participants were taken on basic and advance life support training, which according to him, was the first to be conducted during pre-deployment training.
He added that the Nigerian Company (NIGCOY) 6 Economic Community of West African States Mission in Gambia (ECOMIG) Pre-deployment training of the troops commenced on Feb. 14 with medical screening at the Centre’s medical facility.
“The exercise was closely followed by the classroom lectures to ensure all the required lessons as prescribed by the United Nations Core Pre-deployment Training Materials (CPTM 2017) which was administered to the troops before they are deployed.”
He explained that the troops undertook physical and field trainings which covered intensive physical training exercise, occupation of base camp, crowd dispersal, tactical convoy drill, escort of VIPS, and weapon handling.
He cautioned them against ugly incidents that could tarnish the image of the armed forces of Nigeria and the nation in general. (NAN)