Abuja, NIGERIA — Nigeria has returned it troops to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations after years of absence as UNISFA marks one year of Reconfiguration into a Multinational Peacekeeping Force.
On 15 March 23, the Nigerian Base Defence Company deployed into UNISFA to join the rest of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force. The induction of the Nigerian UN Peacekeepers completes the 8-contingent member troops contributing countries in UNISFA.
In his speech during the Parade held to commemorate the one year anniversary, the Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr stated that despite initial challenges, the Force has been able to achieve its mandate by providing protection of civilians, engage with the 2-host governments as well as the host communities to encourage dialogue, support Humanitarian Agencies to assist the people and provide support to the two-country teams of Juba and Khartoum to implement the Programmatic Funding Activities.
He 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.
He praised the AFPs, humanitarian agencies and NGOs for their support in delivering Humanitarian assistance to the communities. General Sawyerr further praised the Military, Police and Civilian components of the Mission for working in synergy of vision.
He reeled out several achievements attained by the Mission within one year and stated that the Rule of Law support strategy as well as the SOP on Detention will be strengthened to uphold the fundamental human rights of the people.
He further stated that the Mission will continue to function under the UN core values of Integrity, impartiality, professionalism and respect for gender and diversity.
He acknowledged the roles being played by the Female Engagement Teams and happy that all contingents will continue to increase women participation in UN Peacekeeping. Despite the numerous achievements, the Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander stated that there are still existing challenges that must be tackled.
He urged the Peacekeepers not to rest on their oars but be spurred to give their best. He stated that Peacekeeping is a thankless job which is carried out for the purpose of global peace.