Soldiers deployed to Gambia for mission

Soldiers deployed to Gambia for mission

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By Akinsuroju Olubunmi

Soldiers deployed to Gambia for mission.

Soldiers deployed to Gambia for mission

The Armed Forces of Nigeria announced on Friday the deployment of 197 personnel for a peacekeeping mission in The Gambia. This move comes despite the ongoing insecurity issues within Nigeria, marked by increasing cases of banditry, terrorism, and kidnapping.


Major General Boniface Sinjen, Chief of Operations Nigerian Army, revealed the deployment in Jaji, Kaduna State, during the graduation of Nigerian Company 9 troops from the Economic Community of West African States Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG). The 197 troops began their Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) on May 4 at the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC) in Jaji, Kaduna State.


According to Sinjen, the PDT aligns with the commitment of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, and the Armed Forces of Nigeria to deploy quality peacekeepers in support of international peace and security. The training equipped the troops with the necessary tactical skills and knowledge required for peace support operations.


“It has prepared you for the protection of civilians and the accomplishment of assigned tasks under the ECOMIG mandate,” Sinjen said. “You have learned the importance of teamwork, leadership, and cultural sensitivity, as well as other factors essential for your success in the mission area.”


Sinjen emphasized that the training instilled values of discipline, respect for human rights, and compassion for the people the soldiers are going to protect. “Your mission comes at a critical time, as The Gambia faces a period of uncertainty and instability,” he added. He highlighted the importance of their role in maintaining peace, protecting lives, and promoting sustainable development.


He urged the troops to uphold the highest standards of professionalism, discipline, and respect for human rights. He advised them to adhere strictly to the ECOWAS mandate, ensuring their actions align with the principles of peace, stability, and human rights. “Your conduct will reflect not only on yourselves but also on your country, the ECOWAS region, and the international community,” he said. “You must approach all interactions with sensitivity and respect, being mindful of local customs, traditions, and socio-political dynamics.”


Sinjen also stressed the Armed Forces of Nigeria’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, in line with United Nations policies. “Any form of sexual exploitation and abuse will be met with severe consequences,” he warned. “As ambassadors of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and our great nation, you must uphold the esteemed values and enviable image of this country.”


Earlier, Major General Ademola Adedoja, Commandant of MLAILPKC, stated that the six-week training was intense and comprehensive, conducted in line with the Standard UN Core Pre-Deployment Training Modules. Adedoja said the PDT aimed to equip the unit with the necessary skills and knowledge to function effectively in their deployment to The Gambia. The training covered issues such as Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, Conduct and Discipline, and Protection of Civilians.


“This graduation is a testament to the capacity and capability of MLAILPKC as a United Nations accredited centre to conduct quality training for prospective peacekeepers,” Adedoja said. “The Centre has trained, retrained, and refreshed the troops on the knowledge and expertise needed for a Peace Support Operation environment. I believe these men are now better informed and equipped to perform their roles in The Gambia.”


The graduation ceremony underscores Nigeria and the Nigerian Armed Forces’ commitment to global peace and security.


Deployment, Training

Soldiers deployed to Gambia for mission

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