Nigeria returns to UN peacekeeping operations
By Sumaila Ogbaje
After years of absence, the Nigerian Base Defence Company, deployed into the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) has joined the rest of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force.
The Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander of UNISFA, Maj.-Gen. Benjamin Sawyerr, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.
Sawyerr said that the induction of the Nigerian peacekeepers completed UNISFA’s 8-contingent member troops contributing countries.
During the parade held to commemorate the one year anniversary, Sawyerr said the force had achieve its mandate by providing protection to civilians, and engaged the two host governments and communities in spite of initial challenges.
He said the force had encouraged dialogue, supported humanitarian agencies to assist the people and provided support to the the two-country teams of Juba and Khartoum to implement the Programmatic Funding Activities.
The commander appreciated the cooperation and collaboration of the local administration and the traditional institutions in forging peaceful dialogue that would lead to the determination of the final status of Abyei.
He commended the support of the UN Headquarters for high level visits, budgetary allocations and logistics support.
Sawyerr also commended the AFPs, humanitarian agencies and NGOs for their support in delivering humanitarian assistance to communities.
He also commended the military, police and civilian components of the mission for working in synergy with the vision.
According to him, the mission will continue to operate under UN core values of integrity, impartiality, professionalism and respect for gender and diversity.
He acknowledged the roles played by the female engagement teams, adding that all contingents would continue to increase women participation in UN peacekeeping.
He added that there were still existing challenges that must be tackled, urging peacekeepers not to rest on their oars but be spurred to give their best.
According to him, peacekeeping is a thankless job carried out for the purpose of global peace