Peacekeeping: Nigerian Army Deploys Troops To Liberia

peacekeeping, Nigerian ArmyThe Nigerian Army on Friday deployed another batch of 700 officers and soldiers to Liberia on a peacekeeping mission.

The troops received a 4-week special training in preparation for their induction into the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia.

The troops had their passing out ceremony at the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre, Jaji, Kaduna State, ahead of their departure to Liberia.

While addressing his men, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, warned them to avoid any act capable of tarnishing the image of the nation.

General Buratai, who was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Major General Hamza Umaru, also warned them that the Nigerian Army would not tolerate any act of cowardice or professional negligence while carrying out their operations in Liberia.

He advised the troops to abide by the Rules of Engagement, exhibit braveness as professionals and to also respect the cultural sensitivity of the people of Liberia.

He also reminded them of the United Nations’ zero tolerance for drug trafficking.

On his part, the Acting Commandant of Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre, Brigadier General Adamu Dauda, said that the special training received by the soldiers is meant to equip them with the requisite skills that will enable them operate effectively in Liberia.

He expressed confidence that the high level of enthusiasm and cohesion exhibited by the soldiers would reflect on their operational conduct.

The training, according to the authorities, is in line with the Nigerian Army Headquarters’ desire to ensure that troops receive the needed robust and theatre-specific pre-deployment training prior to their induction into peacekeeping missions.

The contingents are expected to depart to Liberia in a couple of days.

Britain To Deploy Troops For Somalia Peacekeeping Mission

somalia-britainBritain has announced that it will deploy dozens of troops to Somalia to help peacekeeping efforts to counter Islamist militant.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, said that up to 70 personnel would join a United Nations (UN) contingent supporting African Union troops fighting Al-Shabab.

Also, up to 300 troops could be deployed in South Sudan over time.

Mr Cameron, who will pledged the support at the UN General Assembly Summit, said that the approach would help curb migrants coming to Europe.

Al-Shabab is battling Somalia’s government for control of the country.

Peacekeeping: Nigerian Army Deploys 700 Troops To Liberia

PeacekeepingThe Nigerian Army on Friday deployed another batch of 700 officers and soldiers to Liberia on a peace keeping mission.

The troops are expected to depart Nigeria for Liberia in a couple of days.

Addressing the troops during their passing out ceremony from the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre, Jaji, Kaduna State, ahead of their departure to Liberia, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, warned them that the Nigerian Army would not tolerate any act of cowardice or professional negligence while carrying out their operations in Liberia.

General Buratai told the contingent to abide by the Rules of Engagement, exhibit braveness as professionals and to also respect the cultural sensitivity of the people of Liberia.

He also reminded them of the United Nations’ zero tolerance on drug trafficking.

On his part, the Commandant of Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre, Major-General Imomotimi Birigeni, said that he had no doubt that the high level of enthusiasm and cohesion exhibited by the soldiers would reflect on their operational conduct.

He said that the troops had benefited from the mission’s special training which would enable them operate under general and unique conditions obtainable in Liberia.

The training, according to the authorities, was in line with the Nigerian Army Headquarters’ desire to ensure that troops receive the needed robust and theatre-specific pre-deployment training prior to their induction into peacekeeping missions.

Also in Jaji, the Army Chief told men of the Nigerian Army to take the fight against terror to the doorsteps of the dreaded Boko Haram sect and dislodge them, rather than waiting in defensive positions for the criminals to attack innocent citizens by surprise.

Speaking during the combined graduation ceremony of Basic Airborne Course 37 and Basic Rigger Course 23 of the Airborne Wing of the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, General Buratai challenged the troops to adopt offensive disposition and respond quickly and appropriately to all situations.

The Army Chief also said that his vision for the Nigerian Army is to have a professional responsive force capable of discharging its constitutional roles.

South Sudan President Reaches Out To Opposition “White Army”

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir on Friday, January 24, called on opposition groups to respect the ceasefire agreement so that further negotiations could take place.

Speaking at a news conference in the capital Juba, Kiir said that fighting would not solve the country’s problems.

“I want also to talk to the side led by Riek Machar, and especially the youths that have been given the name of ‘White Army’, that fighting will not solve this problem, and the fact that Riek will not be in control of all these forces.

I am appealing to you that you respect what has been done and so that other things are done in the country,” he added.

South Sudan’s government and rebels signed a ceasefire on Thursday, January 23, to end more than five weeks of fighting that divided Africa’s newest nation and brought it to the brink of civil war.

Fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and those backing the vice president he sacked in July, Riek Machar, erupted in mid-December.

Thousands of people have been killed and more than half a million people have fled their homes, prompting the regional grouping of nations, IGAD, to initiate peace talks. More than 70,000 people have sought refuge at U.N. bases around the country after peacekeepers, in an unusual move, opened their gates to them.

Making the ceasefire hold could test Machar, whose forces include loyalists as well as more autonomous groups battling the centrally controlled government forces.

The United Nations (UN) has reported that government soldiers have tried to break into civilian protection camps in the hunt for rebels, and on Friday the UN aid agency, The World Food Programme (WFP) reported that looters had stolen more than 3,700 tonnes of food – enough to feed 220,000 people for a month – from a UN warehouse in Malakal.

Kiir appealed to his ministers to stop the attacks on the UN agencies.

“There has been a trend of violence against the UN staff. I want the Minister of Defence to control whoever is under his command and to refrain them from any attacks. The same thing goes to the Minister of National Security. Members of national security have been always accused of having interfered with the UN system and then the Minister for Interior. These three ministers must control their organisations and if this is done, I don’t think that the UN will feel threatened in South Sudan,” said Kiir.

The South Sudan conflict has turned along ethnic fault lines, pitting Machar’s Nuer against Kiir’s Dinka people. Several other communities have also taken up weapons. Analysts say the ceasefire does not resolve the broader power struggle.

Several diplomats expressed concern that the conflict could continue. “Ethnic, personal grievances, vengeance will dominate tit-for-tat actions, crimes, killings for some time,” a senior diplomatic source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

South Sudan won its independence from Sudan in 2011 after decades of conflict between the northern and southern Sudanese

South Sudan Crisis Is A Political War – SPLA

The crisis in South Sudan has remained a topical issue on the African continent, with different parties making submissions on the true picture of the situation.

The foreign media has expressed several views on the claims that the conflict is tribal and Network Africa sought to make clarifications on what has actually formed the basis for the war.

Spokesperson for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, SPLA, Philip Agure, is our guest. He makes quite a revelation.

We also take a closer look at how the lives of the everyday Sudanese people have been affected by the crisis.

We look especially at the over 400 children living in United Nations (U.N.) compounds in the capital, Juba, who have not been deterred from getting an education, despite the deteriorating situation in their country.

Jonathan Gets Highest Honour In Mali

President Goodluck Jonathan has been conferred with the Grand Crois of the Nationale by the interim president Diangunda Traore in the presidential villa, and it is said to be the highest honour of the Republic of Mali.

Before decorating the President Jonathan, the visiting interim president said the honour was for Jonathan’s pivotal role in the restoration of peace and security in that country.

Professor Traore described the crisis as one that shook the entire nation for many months and thanked the Nigerian president for not hesitating in sending human, financial and material resources to rescue his nation.

In his response, President Jonathan said that what he did was a confirmation of the commitment of Nigeria to conflict resolution in the African continent.

He said that inspite of the loss, Nigeria remains committed in supporting the course of peace in Mali.

The President also congratulated Mali’s President-elect, Mr. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on his victory in last Sunday’s run-off Presidential election in the country.

He commended the people of Mali for successfully conducting the elections and taking a major step towards the full restoration of democratic governance to their country and that he is looking forward to the conclusion of the process with Mr. Keita’s inauguration as President in keeping with the wish of the Malian people as expressed at the polls on Sunday.

The President said he believes that for Mr. Keita to have served as Prime Minister capably for many years, Mr. Keita will assume the Malian Presidency with the requisite experience, knowledge and wisdom needed to guide the country towards a speedy return to peace, normalcy, political stability and further development.

President Jonathan assured Mr. Keita of the support, assistance and cooperation of Nigeria, ECOWAS and the African Union as he prepares to assume the burden of leading Mali away from political strife and instability, to national peace and progress.

He wished the Malian President-elect a very successful tenure in office.

 

 

African Leaders Call For U.N. Mandate For Mali Mission

West African leaders on Thursday called for a regional military operation against al Qaeda-linked rebels in north Mali to be transformed into a U.N. peacekeeping mission as quickly as possible to secure desperately needed funding.

France sent troops into its former colony last month to drive out Islamist fighters, claiming their seizure of Mali’s north last year posed a threat to international security.

Paris hopes that from March it can start withdrawing its 4,000 troops but is awaiting the effective deployment of an African force (AFISMA), plagued by logistical and financing setbacks.

Meeting in Ivory Coast’s capital Yamoussoukro, presidents from West Africa’s regional bloc ECOWAS backed calls from France, the United States and Mali itself for the mission to receive a U.N. peacekeeping mandate.

“This shouldn’t distract from ongoing operations on the ground,” ECOWAS commission president Kadre Desire Ouedraogo told Reuters.

“It’s simply an indication that, once peace has returned, we need the support of the United Nations system both for logistical and financial support.”

Some two thirds of the 8,000 troops of the African-led mission (AFISMA) have deployed to Mali.

Many still lack the capacity to carry out combat operations and remain in southern Mali, leaving French forces and around 2,000 troops from Chad to secure northern towns and hunt down Islamist fighters hiding in desert and mountain redoubts.

After struggling for months to secure funding for its deployment, international donors pledged over $455 million for Mali at a meeting in Addis Ababa last month.

With the number of troops more than doubling since deployment plans were first hashed out last year, ECOWAS projects the cost of the mission at nearly $1 billion this year.

Transformation to a peacekeeping mission would ensure funding from the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations and facilitate the deployment of air assets essential for moving troops in Mali’s vast northern desert.

However, a decision by the U.N. Security Council remains weeks, if not months, away. France’s U.N. envoy said on Wednesday that the Security Council would ask Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report by end-March on the possibility of creating a peacekeeping force.

Despite the rapid French advance which has seen the Islamists’ former urban strongholds rapidly retaken, security on the ground in Mali remains tenuous, amid a mounting wave of guerilla raids on towns and suicide attacks.

French and Chadian forces are currently hunting die-hard Islamists holed up in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains. Algerian television reported on Thursday that French troops there had killed Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, a leading al Qaeda field commander.