Army deploys 177 personnel in Guinea-Bissau for peacekeeping

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The Nigerian Army yesterday announced the deployment of 177 personnel for a peacekeeping mission in Guinea-Bissau.

The Chief of Operations, Nigerian Army, Major General Boniface Sinjen, made the announcement at the graduation ceremony of troops of Nigerian Company 3 ECOWAS Stabilisation Support Mission in Guinea-Bissau at Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre, Jaji, Kaduna State.

He said:  “Guinea-Bissau is grappling with political instability and institutional crises, which pose a significant threat to peace and sustainable development in the sub-region.”

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Sinjen, who noted however, that the Nigerian government, through ECOWAS, stood united with the government and people of Guinea-Bissau, said the graduation reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to supporting the government of the Republic of Guinea Bissau to consolidate its authority, with a  view to address the security challenges, strengthen democratic governance, and foster stability in the country.

He said further:  ”This deployment is in line with the mandate of the mission, which has been extended several times to consolidate the relative peace and stability in the country.

“You gallant men of the Nigerian Army have been trained by this renowned Centre of Excellence to play that critical role.

“This Pre-Deployment Training, PDT, has equipped you with the necessary tactical skills and knowledge to support the government of Guinea-Bissau in stabilising the country.

”I, therefore, urge you to remain committed to upholding the principles of ECOWAS peacekeeping operations.”

He charged the troops to conduct themselves professionally in accordance with the guidelines of the mission, saying  “you will be operating in a complex and diverse environment where various ethnic groups coexist.

”I implore you to maintain the highest level of professionalism, discipline, and respect for human rights and the sovereignty of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

“As ambassadors of Nigeria, your behaviour will reflect on the nation’s image, so I urge you to uphold the highest standards of conduct and maintain the integrity of our esteemed profession.”

Sinjen urged them to embody the core values of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and refrain from any actions that could compromise the mission’s objectives or undermine the nation’s reputation.

He emphasised that the Armed Forces of Nigeria have a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual exploitation and abuse.

“Any personnel found guilty of such offences will face severe consequences,” he warned.

Sinjen cautioned that drug trafficking and abuse were grave offences that would not be condoned in any form.

“The Nigerian Army’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of discipline and integrity remains unbroken,” he added.

Sinjen appreciated the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, for his unwavering commitment to enhancing the effectiveness of peacekeeping troops through realistic training, which was one of the key pillars of his command philosophy.

“His leadership and vision have been instrumental in shaping the readiness and capabilities of our troops, and I am deeply appreciative of his support,“ he said.

Earlier in his remarks, the Commandant of the leadership and peacekeeping centre, Maj.-Gen. Ademola Adedoja, said the PDT that began on May 19 was designed to prepare the contingent on contemporary peacekeeping operations for a successful tour of duty in Guinea-Bissau.

He said during the course of the PDT, the troops were exposed to a series of lectures on contemporary peacekeeping operations, with emphasis on the peculiar nature of the security challenges facing Guinea-Bissau

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