Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Army Deploys More Soldiers to Darfur

The Nigerian Army yesterday deployed another set of 800 NIBATT 40 soldiers on a peace keeping mission to the African Union/United Nations Hybrid Operations in Darfur.

Addressing the 333 Battalion troop, commanded by Lt. Colonel T. E Gagariga at the graduation of the troop from its pre-deployment training from the Nigerian Army Peace Keeping Centre (NAPKC), Jaji, Kaduna yesterday, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 3 Armoured Division, Major General Jack Nwogbo, urged the soldiers to fight tirelessly to discharge their mandate.

The GOC warned the troop to avoid engaging in drug trafficking and abide by the United Nations' zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation.

Represented by 3 Division's chief of staff, Brigadier-General James Akomolafe, the 4-week training given to the troop at NAPKC was to refresh, polish and add some knowledge and expertise in their various fields.

He noted the ugly incidents of the past in Darfur, which was not very impressive, stating categorically that, "the Nigerian Army will not accept any situation where its troops are disarmed."

"I must state categorically that you must fight to discharge your mandate when the need arises, especially when there is no alternative if you are to protect yourself, your colleague, or persons and property in your care.

"You must respect the cultural and religious sensitivity of the people of Darfur and discharge your duties in the mission area with high level of professionalism," he emphasised."

Earlier in his speech, the commandant of NAPKC, Major-General John Zaruwa, said the graduands had received adequate level of training to ensure effective performance in any peace keeping operation, with specific interest towards effective operations within the Sudan environment.

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