3 February 2013

Nigeria: 'Deployment of Nigerian Troops Is to Block Insurgents'

Photo: UN Multimedia
UN peacekeepers in an armoured vehicle (file photo).

Kaduna — The Nigerian Army's intervention is to ensure peace in Mali and other African countries, commandant of the Nigerian Army Peace Keeping Centre (NAPKC), Major General John Samuel Zaruwa has said.

He stressed that the action is a large operational plan to ensure that the insurgents in those countries don't fall back into Nigeria.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of officers and soldiers of 20 Battalion from the centre ahead of their deployment on peacekeeping mission to Darfur region of Sudan, Zaruwa stated that in spite of the current security challenges in Nigeria, the army will not stop sending troops to troubled countries in the African region.

According to the General, "We will continue to support these nations, as long as we have conflicts in our region or beyond our region. "It's a commitment on our own part. It is a responsibility on us as a nation, since the world has become a global village.

"Back at home, the insurgents here do not generate from here, the insurgency started from somewhere else, so if you don't stop them where they are, they begin to flow into our own country.

"An example is Mali where some of these insurgents are trained. If we don't go to Mali and ensure that Mali is secured and their bases are destroyed, these so-called terrorists will continue to cause problems back at home.

"So our effort is a larger operational plan to ensure that, those that are in Mali don't fall back into this place. "As I talk to you now, two battalions to be deployed to Mali are going through special training in relation to Mali environment," he explained.

In his earlier address, the commandant assured that the training of the troops was specifically tailored to suit the Darfur operational environment and therefore expressed optimism that the battalion was capable of conducting the operations.

On his own part, the Guest of Honour and General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Division, Jos, Major General Jack O. Nwogbo charged the 800 all ranks troops led by Lt. Col. Jefferson Feboke to be highly professional in the discharge of their duties in the mission area.

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