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Don’t Tarnish Armed Forces Image, Infantry Commander Tells Troops On Mission To Mali

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Commander of the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps, Maj. Gen Stevenson Olabanji has called on personnel of the Nigerian Medical Contingent (NIMED) 6 Level II and Hospital for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) going on Peace Keeping mission in Mali not to tarnish the image of Nigerian Armed Forces.

Olabanji made the call during the graduation ceremony of the personnel at the Martin Luther Agwai Peace Keeping Center in Kaduna.

Olabanji who was the special guest of honour at the event tasked the troops to remain professional in the discharge of their duties in Mali, following the successful completion of their Pre-Deployment training in the Peacekeeping centre.

While addressing the troops, the infantry commander said “I have been briefed on your performance during the training, which I believe is a testimony to your enthusiasm, commitment and professionalism. While I congratulate you on this achievement, I am hoping that such zeal and commitment will be replicated during the course of your operation in Mali as the case may be. I must caution you to avoid any ugly incident (s) that could tarnish the image of Nigerian Armed Forces in particular and the Nation in general.

“You must not involve yourselves in the trafficking of illicit substances and other references activities. Please note that the United Nations and ECOWAS maintain a zero-tolerance policy on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA). The Armed Forces of Nigeria and indeed the Nigeria Government will not tolerate the contravention of these policies

He said the graduation ceremony was part of the effort to demonstrate the commitment of Nigerian Armed Forces to deploy quality peacekeepers as part of its contributions to
global peace and security.

“Generally, the Pre-Deployment Training was aimed at refreshing and polishing your knowledge and expertise in Peace Support Operation. Specifically, the training was to equip you with the skills and knowledge required to protect yourselves and execute other aspects of the mission’s mandate.

“The techniques, processes and procedures you were exposed to during the training were intended to put you in a good frame of mind to discharge your duties. You must discharge theses duties inline with the mission’s mandate and in strict adherence to the Rules of engagement of the Mission duties bearing in mind the multinational, as well as cultural and You must also carry out these religion diversities of the operating environment which underscore the need for courtesy and respect for others.”

In his remarks by the acting commandant of the peacekeeping centre, Brig General Umar Musa said a total of 57 personnel were drawn from the Nigerian Air Force, Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Army for the peacekeeping mission.

He said “during the training, troops were exposed to series of presentations, lectures and field training exercises. Some of the areas covered during the training includes UN Rules of Engagement, Status of Forces Agreement, Status of Mission Agreement and Peace support operations Diary amongst others. All these lectures and FTX were tailored towards achievement operational security for a successful induction into the mission area.

“Furthermore, the troops were specifically taken a lesson on UN core value and competence, sexual exploitation and abuse, Escort of VIP, Protection of Civilians and UN code of conduct for peacekeepers amongst others.”


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