19 February 2013

West Africa: Mali Crisis - Ecowas Appoints Nigerian to Command Position

The Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission has on the recommendation of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, appointed Subair Olusola Kamar as the Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP) in charge of the African-led International Assistance Mission to Mali (AFISMA).

Until his appointment, according to a release signed by the Force spokesperson, Frank Mba, Kamar was the DCP Administration in the Department of Training at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.

"A graduate of the University of Paris VIII, in St Denis, France, Kamar is bilingual in both English and French.

"A highly travelled and professionally-minded officer, he has served in various strategic positions not only in Nigeria but in the UN where he distinguished himself in the UN Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) in the Republic of Macedonia and the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC).

It is widely believed that his past training, professional competence and international experiences will come handy in his new assignment," the statement read in part.

Similarly, the IG has authorised the deployment of seven Individual Police Officers (IPO) and One Formed Police Unit (FPU) comprising 140 personnel to Mali in support of AFISMA operations aimed at restoring peace and security to the strife-torn country.

The release stated that the FPU which will be self-sustaining and self-supportive, will be made up of highly trained and seasoned police personnel skilled in counter-terrorism and crime detection techniques will also have its own trained engineers and medical support team.

"It is expected that the peacekeepers will support the capacity development of the Malian Law enforcement agencies.

This is in fulfilment of the pledge of the Federal Government to continue to work with relevant development partners at defeating terrorism both at national and international levels thereby strengthening law and order in Mali and in the entire ECOWAS sub-region."

Meanwhile, Kamar is expected to assume duty at the end of the month while the Formed Police Unit (FPU) will be formally deployed in a month's time.

Currently, the Nigeria Police has about 800 international peacekeepers in several countries of the world namely: Liberia, Haiti, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, East Timor, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea Bissau.

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