FEDERAL GOVT ORDERS WITHDRAWAL OF NIGERIAN TROOPS FROM MALI

Troops and Browning M2 HMG-armed Landcruiser gun-trucks of the Nigerian Army at Banamba

THE GUARDIAN
17 July, 2013

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the withdrawal of the country’s troops from the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali
(MINUSMA). MINUSMA took over from
the African International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) under which
Nigeria deployed in February this year.

This is the first time in the history of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations that Nigeria is unilaterally
withdrawing own troops over
disagreement with the way mission
operational headquarters is staffed. In February this year, Nigeria deployed a
total of 1,200 troops for the AFISMA
operation, comprising a Nigerian Army
battalion plus strength of 900 troops
and Nigerian Air Force strength of 300
troops. In addition, a Signal Squadron of 61 personnel was deployed.

The Air Force also deployed two Dassault-Breguet Dornier Alpha fighter jets and
two Mi-35 Helicopters for the Malian
operation. In addition, the Nigerian Contingent Air Component has deployed the C-130 transport Hercules and the medium carrier, the G222 for the operation. It however lost one of the Alpha jets and two pilots in the Malian operation.

Director of Defence Information, Brig
Gen Chris Olukolade, who refused to
comment on the ordered withdrawal of
troops, told The Guardian that “we will
let Nigerians know if we are withdrawing from Mali. And we shall follow all diplomatic and other
procedures if and when we are pulling
out.’’

However, a source said that President
Jonathan ordered Nigeria’s withdrawal
in protest against “ill treatment of own
troops and non recognition of the roles
it has been playing in the search for
global peace. Nigeria was shabbily treated despite its role in efforts to
stabilise the situation in Mali. The
President has no choice but to order
that the troops be withdrawn. The
modalities for the withdrawal are now
being worked out now. Look, left to the military, Nigerian troops would have
been home by now. But our diplomats
are sorting out the procedural issues
involved. Otherwise, we are out.”

Last month, UN Secretary General UN,
Ban Kin Moon announced the
appointment of Maj. Gen. Jean Bosco
Kazura of Rwanda as the new Force
Commander of MINUSMA, sidelining
Nigeria’s Major General Shehu Abdulkadir who was the force commander of AFISMA from inception
in January 2013. Despite being the fourth largest troop contributing country under the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, no Nigerian has any appointment as the Force Commander in any of the UN peace keeping missions.

The UN currently has 15 peacekeeping
operations and one special political
mission – the United Nations Assistance
Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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91 Responses to FEDERAL GOVT ORDERS WITHDRAWAL OF NIGERIAN TROOPS FROM MALI

  1. beegeagle says:

    VOX POPULI, VOX DEI.

    The opinions of Beegeagle’s Bloggers are so mainstream it is no joke. For real.

    READ

    https://beegeagle.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/jstf-smash-boko-haram-cell-in-fune-yobe-recover-arms-vehicles/

    ELSEWHERE (see hyperlink above), BEEGEAGLE WROTE:

    “I agree with you, Number One. I have never been an advocate of tepid PKOs where there is no peace to be kept. What is required in Mali STILL is peace ENFORCEMENT.

    There are many parade ground armies in the world which have nothing to do everyday, so we who have unfinished battles to fight at home can pull out. We cannot have chaps fighting in deserts and mountains at home while others are wearing some blue helmet on account of a jamboree in Mali.

    If Mali is now so peaceful as to warrant a PKO, we should come back home and go to the Northeast where Adamawa, Borno and Yobe have 1,400km of mountain and desert frontiers to keep an eye on for insurgents trying to slip through.

    Six battalions in Darfur and Liberia are enough for a show of goodwill already.”

    • camouflage1984 says:

      I never expected FGN to react this way, not with the speed with which they did…its one of the best news in recent days, shows a responsible government

  2. peccavi says:

    Naija?
    Seriously, is this really the way to behave? A saner way would be to say we would not replace troops at the end of tour not this spoiled child reaction.

    So how do we project power? Once again we have opened a chance for others to take leadership position in West Africa. This is bad policy.

    I’m going to venture above my pay scale here and put it forward that Nigeria is in a mess strategically. Unfortunately the entire strategic bandwidth of the Nigerian policy makers is geared towards the 2015 elections, thus we seem to have no view beyond things that affect that event. It is the height of foolishness to ignore grand strategy and focus on the mundane venal pursuit of wealth.

    I have listed before how we have conceded our dominant position in West African security affairs. Despite our economic wealth we are conceding in terms of preferability too Ghana and Angola.

    I have said it once and I will say it for the last time, we deserve better. Our Federation cannot continue to be ruled this way

    • igbi says:

      In case you are not aware, UN was completely selling us out. There is nothing for us to expect from UN. They do not want to give us key roles, they only want to use us as labourers. There is no justification for how they have been treatring us.
      Egypt ans Algeria don’t do peace keeping, yet they still are considered regional leaders.
      So in other words: we were being taken for a ride.
      The only thing to do then is to count your loses and change your strategy.
      We advocated this on this blog a long time ago.
      Just watch when the we go and the terrorists show the peace keepers pepper. They will run and start begging us.

    • asorockweb says:

      Oga Peccavi,
      We should never willingly accept a subservient position, unless it is in our absolute national interest.

      We are not needed in Mali.

      Our national interest will be served by the presence of the UN troops in Mali.
      Once France forcefully inserted itself into the Malian conflict, it became the dominate force in Mali and all the international politics associated with that.

      Our only interest in Mali should be the non-existence of BH training camps.

      Regarding our place in the world, all we have to do is make sure that the infrastructure that our 170 million people need to grow our economy is in place.
      That’s it.

      Everything else flows from economic strength.

      From now on, we should probably take the tact of western nations and not let our soldiers serve under non-Nigerian command.

    • camouflage1984 says:

      I am really impressed, i never thought GEJ could make such a move but he did…@Peccavi the first batch of troops deployed are already rotating out

    • eyimola says:

      It does seem initially like a knee jerk reaction, but to put an officer from Rwanda in charge of the Mali operation was a grave insult to the Armed Forces of Nigeria. I cannot see any other acceptable reaction apart from this

  3. johnbest1 says:

    This is great,we finally have a president who’s willing to fight for our right and not be sidelined,this is a great improvement,after all these years and manpower and money spent the nigerian army has not been recognised and keep getting sidelined but dats a thing of the past now cus we have people fighting for us.keep up the good work oga beeg.

  4. clement says:

    This is a deliberate global attempt to relegate Nigeria to the background, after sacrificing our troops to stabilize Mali, then, we are thrown into the thrash can. After all, we’ve taken the heat at the peak of the crisis and now that Mali is stabilized, we’ve outlived our relevance. Again, just like we had done in Sierra Leone and Liberia, we’ve cast our pearls before pigs who will never appreciate its value. Seriously, Nigeria needs to reevaluate the strategic objectives of her international diplomacy. If the directive given by the C-in -C is true as published in this article, it is absolutely a lawful order and in the right direction. God bless Nigerian Armed Forces, God bless Nigerian contigent in Mali,

    • beegeagle says:

      Bless you, bro.

      When we got into Liberia in 1990, nobody wanted to do the dirty work. No sooner had the situation stabilized and an election timetable drawn up than the UN came up with the PKO. They even made us operate under the shadow of an arms embargo.

      Come 2003, world powers were again marooned offshore when the NA rallying under ECOMIL went in. The same UN rushed in with UNMIL.

      In Sierra Leone, it was no different. They always leave Nigeria to do the dirty work and then turn round to steal our thunder.

  5. johnbest1 says:

    I chose to congratulate them because I believe its time we showed we mean business and wont be sidelined anymore,for years we have played d role of big brother and taken care of our sista’s nations problems,mali,liberia and more and what have we to show for it?death of our men and waste of our money,oga peccavi says they are acting like children and I say they are not,they actually are making plans for other countries to occupy the vacume left,
    Oga peccavi u say we are acting like spoilt children,well then lemme ask which international crisis whatsoever has america ever been a part of that its own soldiers didn’t lead right from world war 2 to the gulf wars,then the afghanistan,iran,iraq,as long as its soldiers are involved on a large scale they must be in command,but why doesn’t that same logic apply to nigeria???what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander??

    • clemnwachukwu says:

      Gbam! Absolutely correct. Even in the two gulf wars fought by the allied forces America did not cede the command of the operation to any of her allies. Do you recall the role Nigeria played in the liberation of then apartheid South Africa in the name of being her brother’s keeper? Do you recall how we lost our troops and even journalists while restoring peace in war torn Liberia, Salone , Daffur, Somalia,Congo and many more. Yet the “Ununited” Nations Organisation did not consider Nigeria fit to take a seat in its Security Council. Nigeria needs to stamp her feet down and pull out our troops. We won’t be dwarfed by any “Bank in the moon” or whatever.
      Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

  6. johnbest1 says:

    I chose to congratulate them because I believe its time we showed we mean business and wont be sidelined anymore,for years we have played d role of big brother and taken care of our sista’s nations problems,mali,liberia and more and what have we to show for it?death of our men and waste of our money,oga peccavi says they are acting like children and I say they are not,they actually are making plans for other countries to occupy the vacume left,
    Oga peccavi u say we are acting like spoilt children,well then lemme ask which international crisis whatsoever has america ever been a part of that its own soldiers didn’t lead right from world war 2 to the gulf wars,then the afghanistan,iran,iraq,as long as its soldiers are involved on a large scale they must be in command,but why doesn’t that same logic apply to nigeria???what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander??
    This isn’t being childish,its taking a stand and showing u mean it.

  7. beegeagle says:

    Peccavi, I think it is actually the appropriate time to bounce if we want to. A peace enforcement mission has ended and a PKO is about to start, even with the rebel MNLA still in Kidal.

    For me, the Mali operations ended on the day that AFISMA/MISMA wound down operations wef July 1. I remain diametrically opposed to the toothless PKOs of the UN. Look to the Congo to be sure.

    Remember that MINUSMA kicked off July 1st? Let them leave now before MINUSMA settle into their tepid operations and blue helmets. There are bound to be many takers.

    Nothing was conceded in Mali, not while we were supposed to be putting on blue helmets whereas France were going to have a stand-alone 1,000-man force with an enforcement/interventionist mandate and “projecting the power” anyway.

    AFISMA ended two weeks ago. The NAF have since returned home. As MINUSMA muster with its strange mandate and new sponsors, we need to leave at this juncture.

    What did they concede to Ghana? This was what they have been waiting for – plenty Oyibos on ground and their ideal kind of operation…PEACEKEEPING. If there ever is a relapse in the violence, their presence there would not matter. Reason why they sent an engineer squadron to AFISMA while everyone else sent combat troops. Ghana are never going to fight whereas the peace is far from won. More troops would now come in from there. Good for them. To each, his own.

    Angola are not in West Africa. Even at that, their bilateral military arrangement with Guinea Bissau was terminated and they got squeezed out from Guinea Bissau unceremoniously. It was ECOMIB, which is a West African affair involving Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Senegal that replaced them.

    Win some, lose some. But this is actually a good time to leave as the rehatting process in about to start. The planned UN PKO in Mali is a perilous idea which shall endanger the lives of all troops except the French forces.

  8. Henry says:

    I support the president’s action as regards to withdrawal of troops from mali. To be honest, I never really was in support of the nigerian government deploying troops to mali in the first place.

    When a nation contributes 1200 troops, logistics and equipments, 2 C-130 hercules planes, 4 alpha jets and 2 MI-35p helicopters. By far the largest contribution by any nation outside france and is still dis-respected the way we have in the mission in mali, OGA it is your time to leave.

    The least the UN should have done, since we all want to be diplomatic and contain the situation, should have been to appoint the current AFISMA general (major general shehu aldukadir) as the head of the new UN mandate (MINUSMA). I recall the AFISMA general, major general aldukadir was caught completely off guard, and could not give an assured answer, when a BBC reporter asked him about the role of the AFISMA contingent in mali. From then on in February when the documentary was aired, I knew that it was only a matter of time before the president of nigeria recalls his troops from mali.

    The appointment of a rwandese, to head a mission by the UN, in an operation were nigeria have contributed huge numbers of men and resources was/ is disrespectful and the height of ingratitude.

    It’s like saying to a group of people, “the man who has contributed the most money, cannot decide how his money would be utilised”. I mean, that’s not done anywhere.

    Nigeria has contributed a lot, a whole lot to the mission in mali. Money, men and resources. If our efforts are not appreciated, why spend time in the country. Nigerian troops have seen conflict in mali, they are currently deployed in banamba, lere, diabaly, timbucktu and the mali-mauritania border region.

    If mali is now very peaceful that it only needs a PKO, then our troops and helos should come back to nigeria. We got boko-haram to attend to in yobe ,borno state and the mountainous regions of mubi.

    @OGA peccavi, this has nothing to do with 2015. I do not see the correlation between the government of nigeria demanding that our efforts be appreciated and duly respected and a phantom 2015 election. This is basic common sense. Nigeria is spending millions of dollars on a mission which isn’t duly appreciated, and you are talking about pursuit of wealth. Is it in mali, nigerian leaders now stash their ill-gotten wealth?

    *NIGERIA’s FDI (foreign direct investment) for 2012 was by far the highest in africa. So when you say preferability and then go on to mention the likes of ghana and angola( the one city state), tell us how well they did in FDI for 2012? Preferability should ordinarily mean increased FDI.

    I work for an ICT firm in P/H, moving around the city in the course of business or leisure, leaves me over-whelmed with amazement at the progress we have made in the years we began to grow in 2005. From a country riddled with billions of dollars in debt in 2003 to a nation of 50 million people in middle class.

    The government has done the right thing, the money saved from this waste of time in mali, should be channelled to properly equipping our troops currently under-going internal operations and also the purchase of leopard ACV’s and PF2 MK.II.

    This is the way to do it, if we aren’t appreciated or given due respect, “carry your load dey come house”. “Afterall na my men, my money, and my equipment”.

    Let someone else fill up the vacuum.

    • peccavi says:

      Oga Henry: the 2015 analogy is in general from the situation in the North East to Rivers State to Al Mustapha, oil subsidy, corruption trials etc. The entire political class has no objective save 2015. The Northern Governors just came out and despite the hell being visited upon their people stated their main objective is to bring the presidency back to the North, no terrorism, peace, economy, education protecting children, health or whatever.
      It is slightly off tangent to this particular topic but it is pertinent because the country is rudderless.
      I have a series of mixed opinions about UN missions, on one hand it is a very useful source of foreign exchange, it exposes the military to other militaries and theatres a good way to build experience and keep the Armed Forces ticking over, its a way to buy credibility in the world and project power, acquire equipment and resources.
      However you also get troops tied into stupid mandates doing God knows what, UNAMSIL, MONUSCO are prime examples of what not to do.
      Now my view has consistently been that Nigeria must dominate West Africa, I believe in pax Nigeriana in which Nigeria is the strongest independent power in West Africa dominating the coast and airspace with a powerful expeditionary army. I would ensure that the West African Regional forces are fully integrated in Nigerian led divisions, with Nigerian brigades rotating through all the while maintaining our forces, This means we are fully integrated in other nations command structures, have basing rights and overflight rights. We should gradually get the French and other non African powers out of West Africa, non violently but persistently. Insist on the rule of law and democracy.

      However we are a long way from this as we cannot even secure our borders and we have such a confused polity that governors trade words with unelected first ladies and their respective parliamentarian fight like touts, a South African is head of the AU and Rwanda is in the UN security council. What is our strategy? What do we want?

      So if we are to pull out no problem but to what end? What do we gain? Whats the next step how do we leverage this act to our benefit? I can’t see it. I don’t know bros but when you see the level of long term planning other nations engage in, how every event ties into a unifying purpose and we seem to lurch from decision to decision without any consistent theme you wonder is there a massive grand plan or just a group of politicians scheming for their own advantage to the detriment of the nation?

  9. BishopOfSapele says:

    On one hand, I support the decision to withdraw our boys. How many troops did Rwanda deploy to Mali that a Rwandan should be heading the mission? The UN they should have recognized the regional pecking order and shown some respect to us when we rightfully pushed back….
    But, on the other hand, the entire Mali thing is in our backyard and with Boko Haram still not totally resolved. We have to come up with alternatives to keep that area monitored. Maybe expand ongoing joint border patrols with Chad and Niger?

  10. freeegulf says:

    good call, thumbs up. most of the commenting bloggers here have been critical of the UN PKO replacing AFISMA, and about the inevitable fallout between the tuareg rebels and Bamako govt.

    why i sincerely believe that it is a good thing for our troop to participate in UN PKOs around the world (for it helps with humanitarian training and monetary benefits for the boyz), it is another thing entirely to be undercut by New York and it clueless sec gen. also, this whole charade of peace keeping might churn out another eastern congo fiasco in the subregion.

    we are not rehatting, it is a good thing. if the Malian govt truly appreciate our lending hand, then they should ask for, at least, a parallel NIGCON battalions, because if they know their history lesson well, they would do anything to keep the Nigerian contingent.

    having a battle ready, robust contingent outside of the UN command chain will be good for Mali. however, we have to consider the implication on morale on our distinct contingent. the morale of the troops might be hit hard should this peace enforcement contingent receive less monthly pay than the standard good for nothing UN blue beret troops that cant even defend themselves, let alone protect civilians and installations.

    the fed govt should put in effort to streamline the pay and benefits of this independent contingent (if they deploy a separate NIGCON) to meet with current UN standard. knowing how francophone west and central africaine nations think (metropolitan france, their apex), the Bamako govt might be very comfortable with shunning Abuja, in their naive believe that Paris would always back them. well, ask laurent gbagbo, how did that turn out. he snubbed us and embrace france, where is he now. even vieira who was running his mouth criticizing Nigerian interventions in LBR and SRL, in the end begged abacha to send Nigerian troops to Bissau because he knew without us, his presidency cant be safe. just as he feared, we did not intervene (francophone countries including Senegal, at behest of their french masters sent in troops) and the multinational force that went in there had to withdraw and his own army chief overthrew him.

    long live the federal republic of nigeria. these pretenders will never ever upstage us at the international stage. long live NA

    • beegeagle says:

      Sublime..gracias, Generalissimo. The independent Nigerian battalion thing has been tried once before when General Babangida sent a Nigerian battalion(that later became two battalions and later, ECOMOG deployed menacingly) to support the regime of his coursemate, General JS Momoh of Sierra Leone. If the Malians want that, fine.

      We must not forget that before AFISMA troops deployed from Kaduna, we had sent Special Forces and a detachment of airforce technical personnel, ostensibly to help Mali with Mi-24 maintenance, on a bilateral basis.

      Well, the uniform code of karmic justice has mostly favoured us in the past. After Nigerian ECOMOG troops were ordered to leave Liberia, a second civil war erupted. When crunch time came, with mortar shells raining down on the UN Compound in Monrovia at this time in 2003, we saw Liberians change chorus from “send in the US Marines” to “come save us, Nigerian troops”🙂 “Dem eye don see ninety nine by dat time”. The story in Guinea Bissau also refers.

      “Every dog has its day”

      • eyimola says:

        In fact Nigeria should enshrine it in the law that her troops are never commanded by foreigners. Many Countries do that. We are not part of Nato or any other meaningful military alliance.

  11. Delavegas says:

    Overwhelming in favor of the pull out. Christ! this is by far the first move in being taken seriously.

    Bring our boys home where they are needed

  12. (@lordfej) says:

    Let us come home oh!!! We are big and we should begin to accept it. Are we afraid of throwing our weight around.

  13. eyimola says:

    Second straight morning of good news on this blog.

  14. eyimola says:

    The UN is crap at Peacekeeping anyway. Ecomog had a lot more success, but pissed of the French and Yanks.

  15. Akin Oges says:

    Welcome our boys home; we need them now. If the Malians want the presence of our strength, we will attend as a stand alone battalion or two. Incredible insult to expect Nigeria to put up with that arrangement; the UN was ridiculous with that behaviour towards Nigeria. Totally unaccpetable. On a different but related matter: Oga Beeg, are the two C130s sent off for repairs and upgrade and scheduled to return in February back?

  16. beegeagle says:

    Not sure about the status of the Charlies, Oga Akin. When I have concrete details on that, you shall get to read about it.

    For now, we know that new birds are sure to be inducted in 2013. Keeping an eye on developments.

  17. Yagazie says:

    Ban Ki Moon is a clueless UN Sec Gen when it comes to African Affairs. How can he appoint a Ruwandan General as the head of the PKO mission in Mali when Nigeria has the strongest contingent (after France) in Mali. Note also that the French troops left will not be part of the UN PKO mission in Mali but will be operating independently. Note also that it was France which was pushing for the establishment of a UN PKO in Mali. My take on the matter is that the Fed Govt has got this one spot on. We should never let our troops be commanded by forieign commanders – you don’t see the US or France agreeing to place their troops under foreign commancers- so why should we?. From now on we should also not participate in PKO organised by the UN. If its peace enforcement – then yes- provided our strategic national interest is involved. Oga Peccavi – I respectully disagree with you on this one.

  18. beegeagle says:

    @Oga Eyimola. Here is one short, sharp take by a Westerner on ground in SLR during the war. It validates ECOMOG and heaps scorn on the UN intervention.

    http://petermaass.com/articles/deadly_competition/

    excerpts

    “In recent years a Nigerian-led intervention force prevented the RUF from taking control of the country, but last year, with the Nigerians wearying of the expense and bloodshed, the U.N. brokered a peace accord under which the RUF was given a share of power and an amnesty for crimes it committed during its reign of terror.

    The Nigerian force was replaced by thousands of U.N. soldiers, who turned out to be the Keystone Cops of peacekeeping. Most of the U.N. soldiers arrived in Sierra Leone with little weaponry, unreliable communications gear, and scant awareness of the nastiness that awaited them. When they tried to take control of the RUF’s diamond-mining areas, the RUF attacked, seizing hundreds of U.N. hostages.

    With the battle-hardened Nigerians gone, the RUF sensed an opportunity to commandeer the entire country. It was May, and the war was on again.”

    end of quote

    And an African news magazine has this to say.

    QUOTE

    ” It turned out that the arms themselves
    never actually got to the pro-Kabbah
    forces: they were impounded by Nigerian troops, who must be credited – along with the pro-government Kamajor militia fighters – for unseating the AFRC and restoring democracy to Sierra Leone.”

    http://newafricanmagazine.com/features/politics/our-man-in-sierra-leone

    end of quote

    The UN only want to hear from the Human Rights Council, Amnesty International etc waxing lyrical about a humanitarian crisis and they begin to put every wrong foot forward. They want to deploy soldiers but would want to see them operate like boy scouts just so that ‘activists’ have nothing to say.

    That is the reason behind the endless stream of gaffes..peacekeeping where you need peace enforcement.

    • eyimola says:

      That’s is why I always argue against participating in Peacekeeping (at least on the African Continent). If we need to get involved in a conflict (out of national interest) we do not need the UN to tell us what to do.

      That is also why Nigeria should not be buying Western Arms. No matter how much better they are.

  19. giles says:

    for me,d news is good but it came late.abeg let dem com back and reinforce d northwestern flank of our border to prevent inflock of islamist cos d heat is of dem now.

  20. Obix says:

    Great decision! Long overdue infact. In an earlier thread, i expressed my disappointment at the appointment of the Rwandan General as the head of MINUSMA ahead of our own Major General Shehu Abdulkadir . The Chadians lost soldiers in the operations and are also outraged. Let our boys and girls come home, the AFISMA mission is over. He he, just like Oga Beag reminded us of the 2003 events in Liberia, time will come when the UN and co will ask Nigeria to send troops to intervene in one place or the other, then we will remind them of Mali. Our government should shift the strategy towards cooporating further with our neigbours in containing the Boko Haram menace. Let the French and UN peacekeepers fight the counterinsurgency battles if and when it starts in Mali. No wonder the French have put on hold their withdrawal from Mali!
    Oga freegulf, i don’t support the idea of a Nigerian contingent outside of the UN command. we should use this to send a message to the UN and thier puppet masters. I’m sure the UN and the Malians wouldn’t want Nigeria to withdraw. I believe that from now on we shouldn’t go for any intervention anywhere if we don’t give outright conditions. Let’s just be going only for PKO like the “Charlie men” and get paid for that. We can’t afford to endanger the lives of our worriors in interventions and recieve ingratitude in return.

    • freeegulf says:

      comrade colonel general obix, you are right that the UN wouldnt want to see nigeria withdraw her troops. they might come to some accommodation. as for the Bamako govt, lets see what happens after election. the Tuareg rebels are in kidal, would they withdraw from their present positions? don’t think so

      as for NIGCON, I understand that you re taking a hardliner position for complete troop pullout. well, if the Malians understand the sinews of war and what peace enforcement entails, they would ask FGN to keep a battalion or two in-country, with NAF inclusive.

      if Bamako puts all her hopes on France, they will be disappointed. what stops the french from embracing the Tuareg, these same rebels where wise enough to quickly distance themselves from the islamic jihadists and ally themselves with the french intervention forces.

      the Chadians lost the candidacy top job because of child soldiers in the Chadian army. while Nigeria was deliberately sidestepped. so much for security council membership aspirations.

      • Obix says:

        My Oga Freegulf, yes, i’m taking the hardliner position here. We should focus on the ongoing special trainings and re-equipment of our armed forces to meet mordern challenges
        Do you guy think that the West is happy the way Nigeria is modernizing her armed forces? Don’t you think they were happy with the display at NADCEL 2013 ? Ask yourselves again, were they happy to see the recent achievements made by the likes of NAEME ,PROFORCE and DICON? C’mon my bosses, they are afraid that the “sleeping giant” is now wide awake and about to step out. In the 90s, despite being crippled by sanctions we lead the way in S. Leone and Liberia. Imagine the impact the NA SF, SBS, NAF SF regiment and others would make now anywhere (Boko Haram can testify to that). They want us to be marionettes. The worst crime an African can commit against to himself is to follow the imperialistic teachings that we are no good and can’t do without them!

        Love GEJ or hate him, he has shown not once, that he is not weak as people think.
        If our troops eventually remain in Mali and Darfur, then it would mean that a deal was struck.

      • Obix says:

        I meant to write * commit against himself ……

  21. makanaky says:

    Goodnews let our soldiers come home, we have enough fight at home BH is still unleashing havoc up north.
    People must not teach us how to behave, we are a nation with equal footing like any other.
    I made mention of what France did to South Africa in CAR, The Rwandan General is a suggestion from France, why not a Chadian at least ? they are just like that always threatened by an African regional power.
    No shame in what my able President has done, let them keep peace that is not in existence.
    All we need to do now is to re-arm and re-equip our military thoroughly.

  22. Deway says:

    Very simple, re-strategize our peace keeping operations and foreign policy in general and like I said previously, arm ourselves to the teeth or at least to a good level with modern equipment like Algeria and Morocco.. Its good to pull your weight around sometimes. Let them come home, we’ve got enough peace keeping and enforcement to do locally.

  23. igbi says:

    Journalists are changing the story as I speak. They are saying that we are withdrawing some of our troops because our army is outstretched. The president of ivory coast seems to be the one telling them that. Allasan Ouattara is becoming an ennemy of Nigeria. These ivorians are really annoying, they think we can not talk, so they have to go and talk for us.
    Some other journalists are saying that we are the third biggest contributor of UN troops in Africa, while we are the first contributoe of UN troops in Africa and the fourth in the world. Some others are saying we had troubles deploying in the first place, and they are even comparing us to other west african countries. It seems that either most of these journalists are ill informed or there is really an other round of news manipulation. Let it be known that without a shred of a doubt, Nigeria is withdrawing all its soldiers from mali, and the reason is because the Nigerian contingent is being marginalized by the UN.
    We have more than enough soldiers to deal with our troubles at home, but we can’t take UN’s attitude anymore.

  24. beegeagle says:

    If they said all of that, it was quite imbecilic.

    Nigeria have come out to say why they are pulling out. Coincidentally, the recruitment of troops is at an all-time high since the Civil War ended in 1970. If there is a crunch in troop numbers, they would remove one battalion from Mali which has more of an impact on Nigeria’s insurgency and leave four battalions in Sudan for a conflict which is not as intertwined with our national security interests? We even have two battalions in Liberia which has been more stable than Nigeria for over five years. Why did it have to be the one battalion in Mali which was withdrawn?

    That is some ‘brain-dead’ analysis by the usual conclave of pseudo-analysts and airheads.

    • igbi says:

      Can someone make an other statement to the foreign media ?
      And I hope President Jonathan will send a letter to Ouattara.
      We put the guy in power and now he is biting our finger.

      • Detona says:

        AFP has a more balanced report of what is going on, and from the context of the quotes attributed to the CIV Presido, he is just being a diplomat, not wanting to inflame a very sensitive subject. He basically made those comments in Abuja after an ECOWAS meeting at which GEJ handed in a formal letter stating Nigeria’s decision to withdraw. As sitting ECOWAS Chairman, Ouattara has played it correctly.

        People can claim that the military is stretched because of BH or as some people are reporting “tensions ahead of 2015 elections”!!! or whatever, the people affected know why Nija is waving adios. It is about time we seriously sterned up as a people and stop taking BS from undeserving opinionated ingrates who stop at nothing to undermine us at every turn just because we have a very sound mind of our own, and refuse to conform to their sad stereotypes.

      • beegeagle says:

        Five star…one more sound mind.

  25. beegeagle says:

    Dr Abati will no doubt do that in the hours ahead.

  26. jimmy says:

    Based on what i have read on this blog and I have not read anything to suggests otherwise.I will like to draw some conclusions and especially to something Lord Eeben warned about . The U.N. will come in with A MANDATE which WILL INVOLVE training the local troops to keep the PEACE for A WAR that truly is not over. This is what is going on in EASTERN CONGO ( The rape capital of the world). We have seen that the five areas under Nigerian control HAVE SEEN NOTHING BUT PEACE. God help them when they leave.
    I have never ever liked Nigerian troops especially in West Africa being under the command of anyone else EXCEPT A Nigerian, because of what happened in LIBERIA.Regardless Nigeria should call the u.n. ‘s bluff let those who are egging them on to sideline Nigeria now contribute and spend the EQUIVALENT OF A $100M that Nigeria has spent.
    The president of Ivory Coast has been a very staunch friend of Nigeria. I WOULD HAVE TO BE PRESENTED WITH PROOF BEFORE I go against this.
    Well done G.E.J. the u.n is now free to MAKE THEIR REAL CHOICE OF commander THE HEAD OF THE GHANIAN contingent this really what it boils down . The country who sent the cooks and the ” Engineers” gives the orders.

  27. Tope says:

    Wonderful News, We know the many reactions we have had from the onset when the War in mali began
    First France Rushed in to Mali to Take the spotlight and act as if it has its Francophone units at heart, they deployed troops and feigned bombing the enemy.

    Next Nigeria came in and Mali assiged them to Gaurd duties until. The Contigent forced their hands and they appointed our General AFISMA head this made us deploy to Goa and Timbuktu and co.

    Tuareg fighters fearing for their life have struck a deal with France and the Malian Government ultimately to push Nigerian troops away.

    France definitely has approached the UN to push Nigeria out and so its only logical we move. History repeats itself and we would soon see the War in Mali.

    Notice how quiet the insurgents. Have been or should i call it a media Blacklist or so just to make sure the Story isnt told our way.

    For me the UN has lost its appeal as they have made Stupid Mistakes beginning from 2001 and now recently the War in Syria it just shows you the current members of the Security Council need to step down, it has been what most countries have been Clamoring For, the UN Security Council is using their Position to settle baseless Political Issues.

    And Since when did UN listen to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch? 2 stupid Organisations that have kept silent on Syria case…..another Ploy by the European and Western States to Flex muscle let us not be decieved.

    Abeg dose 1200 Soldiers should be Sent immediately to Borno and start a Combing Operation. Inch by Inch to Flush the BH members and Reduce Cache of Weapons in that Sphere of Operation and also to Block Border Infiltration.

    Consequently the NA and DHQ should Issue a Strong Warning to BBC CNN Al Jazeera and co to Respect how they go about doing Defence Reporting, any one trying to undermine the Sovereignty of the Country will be taken as an Enemy of the State its their in the official Secret Act.

    The DDI should hold a press conference and not Abati, let him point out Why Nigeria is pulling out and also Squash all Rumours, Finally a proposal should be sent to Iherijika our Dear COAS to have An Active Social Media Friendly Campaign to tell and Reflect how Effective our NA is.

    Just as the NN is doing, their Twitter handle is very active and responsive and has made a lot of people aware, similar thing should be done and it can help answer lots of Burning Questions people may need answers for.

    Finally To our Troops in Mali, We Welcome you all Heroes of the Nation come home and Rest. The World will Move on. You dont see China or Russia or other Big Countries contributing troops to UN Forces it. Doesnt stop them being respected at all.

    Lets focus on our Economy, He who holds the Money gets the power. .

  28. igbi says:

    Some journalists are now claiming that we have only 1200 soldiers currently in Mali and Darfur.
    http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Nigeria-to-bring-intl-peacekeepers-home-for-security-against-Islamist-group-320357
    Journalism is at such a state today.
    We have about 4000 soldiers in Darfur. And 1200 in Mali.
    Are this journalists so ill informed that they are getting everything wrong ? Or are they actually paid to tell lies.

  29. (@lordfej) says:

    http://vimeo.com/22523782 sorry not to distract from the on going topic, do we know if Nigeria has any of this ship in her inventory. because our flags are evident and u can see a ship named Lagos there

  30. adickmish says:

    My Ogas I salute, I think something is not adding up. The reason why UN chose a Rwandan and not a Nigerian, I don’t understand. The only thing that comes to my mind is that, France led the intervention in Mali. The situation would have been a disaster if France did not intervene. The UN probably thought it wise to allow France to choose whoever they fill should lead the PKO in Mali. If Nigeria want to command the troops, they would not have allowed France to come near Mali Withdrawing our troops from Mali is the best decision.

  31. freeegulf says:

    and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the french-rwandese relationship is getting better compared with the hostile/frosty relationship between them in the past. the UN job is a sweetener to this new friendship. thankfully, kagame is not a naive or pitiful as the majority African leaders; the french afrique leaders comes to mind. there will be no french international prestige without Africa.

    • eyimola says:

      Indeed Gen Freeegulf. I was quite shocked when I saw troops from Burkina Faso, Chand and Mali parading in Paris in front of the French President for Bastille day.

      • igbi says:

        We need to do to the rest of west africa what qaddafi was doing to the arabian states: shame them at AU summits by showing how much they are slaves to the west.

      • eyimola says:

        I think we should leave the Francophone countries to do whatever they want, as long as nobody comes crying to Abuja when things don’t go as planned. Nigeria has many security issues that should be prioritised

      • BlackRev says:

        you shouldn’t expect Nigerian troops to be present there. we are not a french colony and have to business parading in front of there president unless invited.

      • beegeagle says:

        Come on man🙂 , he was probably mocking the “Imperial African soldiers of the French Army” from Gabon, Chad and Mali…not complaining about Nigeria not being on parade in Paris!

        If Nigeria had gone, it would be a gesture of friendship..same way that 111 Nigerian soldiers were on p’rade in Cameroon, May 20th.

        With our France Afrique brothers, it would be a reaffirmation of allegiance to the eternal French Empire

  32. BlackRev says:

    my apologies @eyimola.. i misunderstood.
    what annoys me most is how all these incompetent reporters get their poor reportage approved by their editors. isn’t there a code of conduct in all these yeye big news agencies.
    if the UN and the west are scared of Nigeria’s pullout, they should just say so and promise to be good to us. Rather than use their media to try make our government have a rethink. I mean it’s a clear strategy they tried when the state of emergency was declared and the media went awash that we would pullout from PKO in other to make our government clarify and deny it.
    now it won’t work for them. let them fill the blanks if they think it’s that easy.

    • beegeagle says:

      Brother, our editors are mostly just as clueless as their underlings.

      Only in a Nigerian newspaper would you read “illegalities” and “criminalities” instead of “acts of illegality” and “acts of criminality”

      It speaks to our affinity for “man know man” where those who can do the job are wilfully kept out while the quacks are railroaded in, using connections. As for commitment to any cause, lucre (brown envelopes) is all that they ever think deeply about.

    • igbi says:

      I think most of our “activists” and news agencies get their paychecks directly from the west, so please watch out. I bet many of them are foreign spies, if not how can you explain such a level of betrayal they showcase all the time. Watch out.

  33. igbi says:

    I think we need to get closer with our friends in Russia and their news channel RT.
    We really need to have an international media as well.

    • beegeagle says:

      We had NN24. It died suddenly, probably cash-strapped. That was our best chance. Sadly, we blew it.

      It also makes me realise that our intelligence services spend way too much time in the shadows to get to grips with real-world dynamics. NN24 should have been surreptitiously funded by the FG in the national interest. Imagine an ‘investor’ coming up with US$10m and getting into the board of directors? They would not have needed to influence the editorial direction since NN24 were already a balanced platform, as opposed to a raving, self-seeking and ‘activism’-driven outlet.

      Nigerians like to applaud success stories but seldom participate in creating or sustaining one. We expect outcomes but try very hard not to make inputs. The NN24 dream would probably still be alive today if we knew how to strike while the iron is hot.

      If NN24 had popped up in a similarly foreign media-besieged country such as Pakistan, the ISI would not have failed to get even an Arab tycoon serving as their proxy, to pour money into NN24.

      We are always on “siddon look” mode. That is why we allowed NN24 to go into oblivion. We need to be aggressive about advancing the national interest.

      As for the very popular decision to get out of MINUSMA, the FG need not pander to any externally-imposed whims. We are at liberty to quit PKOs entirely, never mind quitting one in Mali where the UN have been antagonistic towards Nigeria’s justifiable aspirations.

      • igbi says:

        Howcome the president hasn’t said anything yet ?
        I really think the ivorian president took our own president unaware when he said we were bringing in our soldiers. I don’t think it is for the president of a foreign nation to say what we are doing. The ivorian president is being used against us. Our journalists in their usual fashion have all posted the same article, and it seems that they were issued that article by the same people who ordered ouatara to say what he said. Please you people should face reality: ouatarra betrayed us and our domestic media gets orders from europe and america. But still why is no comment comming out of the presidency ?
        He should contact RT and tell the world about the media manipulation and the reason why he is pulling the troops out of UN control. We all know it is to protest marginalisation by both UN and ICC, but the president needs to say it.

    • Obix says:

      Oga Igbi, we shouldn’t count on the Russians and their press either. We just need vibrant news channels of international standards that can tell the Nigerian story in the interest of Nigeria!

  34. beegeagle says:

    NIGERIA TO PULL OUT TWO BATTALIONS FROM DARFUR

    http://globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130719/nigeria-pull-many-peacekeepers-mali-darfur

    There goes another reason why you always need to come back to your most authoritative Beegeagle’s Blog. Our views command respect.

    ELSEWHERE ON 20TH MAY, 2013, BEEGEAGLE WROTE:

    EXCERPTS

    “Methinks we could conveniently pull back two battalions from UNAMID and one battalion UNMIL and in their places send a Construction Squadron, a Signals
    Squadron and three 140-man Formed
    Police Units to Darfur and another two FPUs to Liberia. Let’s keep a total of 2,000 troops in Darfur for a maximum.

    Liberia has by and large stabilized and
    there is unlikely to be any spike in
    tensions before the next polls in 2016.
    One battalion good enough for Liberia as things stand.

    That frees up three battalions for military operations at home. The borders are vast and porous, the frontlines extended and the communities, legion. There is a
    critical requirement for liberated areas to be garrisoned. No makeshift arrangements. If we pull out too soon from liberated areas, insurgents will attempt to move back in. We have to secure communities, patrol borders and keep an eye on footpaths in desert and mountain precincts. The only deterrence is to have boots on the ground since BH, on the evidence of what are seeing now, are apparently gutless lemons.

    Countries which, alongside Nigeria, are
    the major troop contributing countries in Darfur include Rwanda and South Africa. They do not have any very serious military situations to handle elsewhere and should send in a battalion each as Nigerian troops pull back to go and fight
    the insurgents at home.”

    https://beegeagle.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/nigerian-unamid-peacekeepers-prepare-to-set-out-on-patrol-in-nyala-sudan/

    • Obix says:

      Oga Beag, i strongly believe that the withdrawals have nothing to do with the security situation in NE Nigeria. Our government wants to send a message to UN.

  35. igbi says:

    JTF claims Boko Haram is now in disarray.

    The fight against the Boko Haram insurgency in Borno is 80 to 85 per cent completed, Sagir Musa, the spokesperson of the Joint Task Force, JTF, Operation Restore Order, has said.

    Mr. Musa said this on Friday in Maiduguri.

    He said that the Boko Haram sect was now in disarray with no central authority, co-ordination or administration.

    “Most of the terrorists’ commanders and foot soldiers have either been arrested or killed in their daily encounter with the JTF. We have been able to destroy all identified Boko Haram camps and have recovered many arms, ammunition and Improvised Explosive Device, IED, materials.”

    He said the JTF had restored order in its area of responsibility and that people could now move about freely, while schools and other public institutions had reopened.

    “The situation has also created economic and social relief and has led to the emergence of youth vigilante groups.”

    Mr. Musa said that the emergence of the vigilante groups had had serious impact on the society.

    “The JTF welcomes and commends the emergence of the (vigilante) group,” he said, adding that the concern of the public about the perceived excesses of the group was being addressed.

    “We are monitoring, guiding and regulating the attitudinal disposition of the group in terms of the way they display their weapons and approach members of the public,” he said.

    The JTF spokesman said the involvement of the youth was “the highest testimony that the people were appreciative and supportive of the JTF and its activities.”

    He commended residents of the state for their patience, resilience, understanding, cooperation and support.
    http://premiumtimesng.com/news/141311-nigerian-military-achieves-85-of-mandate-in-borno-jtf-spokesperson.html

  36. CHYDE says:

    There was a report of fighting between the Tuareg’s and some other indigenous people in Mali even as the prepare for their elections.

    • beegeagle says:

      It is not the business of the diplomatic missions to interface with political parties or NGOs.

      This warning has become absolutely necessary. Most of diplomatic missions of the West have overstepped their boundaries en bloc and need to be reined in. It is CLEAR that the increased fraternisation between the scholars in the so called thinktanks and the NGO community and diplomats has led to increased levels of subversion and possibly, espionage. All overly quoted and courted Nigerian ‘activists’, all so amenable to foreign values, worldviews and interests appear to be suspicious characters.

      First, it was the obtrusive Western media hounds running rings around people who are amenable to all intrigues which are antithetical to the interests of Nigeria. Slowly, the official cultural and aid organs of diplomatic missions began to sneak behind their journalists to do similar stuff in the guise of having concerns over corruption, human rights, sexual minority issues, promoting good governance etc.

      Be it known that diplomatic missions are here at the pleasure of the government of the day and are expected to operate according to the laws of the land. They are not welcome to interfere in Nigeria’s internal affairs. Nigeria is not sermonising against the lack of death sentence in Britain or gun violence in America. We did not issue any statement when France decided to approve same sex marriage recently.

      The European Union Mission, not surprisingly headed by a British diplomat, and the British High Commission have been particularly guilty of these misdemeanours and breaches of diplomatic etiquette. Both have in turn gone to Kaduna to ‘engage with’ the ACF, a transparently anti-government platform on the strength of the ruse that they seek to find solutions to the challenges of insecurity in the North. The DFID and British Council have ‘over engaged’ with civil society. It must stop. What business did British diplomats have visiting the ACN leader, Bola Tinubu, in Lagos? Are they in Nigeria for influence peddling or to work on bilateral government to government relations?

      Our local journalists on the payroll of foreign media agencies typically introduce amenable Nigerians to foreign journalists in the name of ‘contacts’. These foreign journalists, thoroughly impressed about how amenable to subversion the so-called activists are, in turn introduce them to the foreign diplomats who apparently never tire to seek out those amenable to their mostly perfidious interest in foisting their culture and agenda on Nigeria.

      In return for ‘insights’, these activists are promoted beyond their real relevance by diplomatic missions who increase their profile by lining them up for foreign awards and partnerships. They are at once ‘respected opinion leaders’ and as they carry on their anti-government activities, the ruse is created to the effect that government seeking to check their activities amounts to muzzling opponents on account of their views and they thus become deserving of ‘foreign diplomatic protection’. At this stage, the Nigerians who engage in these selfish activities for lucre, have all but become spies.

      We are not a satrapy of Britain or the EU. That has to be clearly stated. Anyone who cannot operate within their terms of reference should be eased out of our space.

      We have never needed foreign diplomats to resolve our issues – not the Civil War, not the Gunboat War in the Niger Delta and certainly, we do not need their help in the resolution of the Boko Haram Insurgency. They only seek to advance the scope of their influence, not that they really like us and possess the same cynical mental construct as their largely one track-minded journalists.

      • igbi says:

        Some people used to call me conspiracy theorist, but it is now getting clear that I was right all along. When one reads about 100 articles coming out of Nigeria every week and analyzes them critically with the skills university taught him, then he might discover some things that most do not even suspect. Some just want to blindly believe that EU and America want the best for us. Some of us will gladly side western powers against their own country just because they don’t like the president. They don’t know what democracy means yet. The EU and America keep using their media to say we are corrupt in order to scare off investment from Nigeria and on the other hand, they keep actively promoting that same corruption, they have completely corrupt our journalists and some of our citizens who they call “activists” and they are trying to buy off our political parties. SSS what are you waiting for to investigate ? The president doesn’t need to give you an order to do so, it is your duty. The charge of treason is awaiting those who would be found guilty, (including the politicians)

      • Obix says:

        My Ogas, it’s time to go the Russian way.–
        http://www.europeanforum.net/news/1464/new_russian_law_cracks_down_on_ngos_with_foreign_donors . “21 July,2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a law which will tighten controls on civil rights groups funded from abroad, the his press office said on Saturday.
        The law, which was cleared by the upper house of parliament earlier in July, will force non-governmental organizations (NGOs) engaging in “political activity” to register with the Justice Ministry as “foreign agents” and to file a report to officials every quarter.
        From reports coming in from Channels TV, it’s like our government is about to take such steps. Let’s see.

  37. Tope says:

    The Meddling of International Media, Agencies, Right Groups and Countries need to stop.

    Economically Nigeria is set to be the Largest Economy that is why this countries are panicking.

    Diplomatically and Politically we have the Strongest Influence in West Africa and Africa in Larger Context and they try to Undermine that with all Avenues.

    The International Community wants us to Bow to their Terms Gay Rights in Particular which has led to this Crucifixation of Nigeria. Da Same Human Right Commission should go to Texas and Scream to them about Death Rights and see if dey wont be sued.

    I think the FG should take a Hard Liner with da Foreign Media Groups Especially, if You spread any Lies about the Country We would Sue You and Sieze all. Your Equipments and Go against you, There is no. Stopping us using the National Security Act to get them out of the country, its da Same thing US would use if faced wit Liars Like Sahara Reporters and Co.

    I just Pray the UN Realize what they are doing, Look at How they have Handled the Syrian and Egyptian Situation, it goes to tell you all you need to know. Remember France Sits on the UN Security Council so Dat should also tell you who pushed the button. Nigeria should openly Confront France and Francophone Countries…..I thought we are leaving in Democratic and Independent Times so why all dis Post Colonialism Antics? France should Stop their dangerous antics and remember that this is 2013 not 1921.

    • Obix says:

      @Oga Tope, you are right on point! I wrote ealier that they are scared of the awakening and renaissance going on in Nigeria. The human and material resources that Nigeria boasts of if well managed is a threat to them.

  38. igbi says:

    an other of our verry brilliant “news” papers making the mistake of reducing the number of soldiers we currently have in peace keeping: “”The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) confirms that Nigeria has officially notified it of its intention to withdraw some of its troops from the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur, UNAMID”, said Martin Nesirky, the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General on Friday.

    Nesirky added that the DPKO is in contact with several countries to replace the 1200 Nigerian troops, emphasising that they are “very appreciative of Nigeria’s continued support to UN peacekeeping”.”
    http://allafrica.com/stories/201307200117.html
    In the context in which they put this sentence, it makes you think Nigeria has only 1200 soldiers in Darfur, while Nigeria has more than 4000 soldiers in Darfur, the number 1200 corresponds to the number of our soldiers in mali. And this same article says the UN didn’t recieve a letter of withdrawal of our soldiers from mali. So this is a self contradicting paper. First the “journalists” didn’t care about the truth, then some time after that, they didn’t care about making sense anymore.

    • eyimola says:

      The reality is that most Nigerians do not know how many troops are deployed in peacekeeping and which operations they are involved in. This is in itself an issue of transparency which should be addressed going forward, The Nigerians media have always been incompetent, corrupt and downright untrustworthy.

      • beegeagle says:

        And deeply blighted by quackery. Most are in it to earn a living and not because they have any grounding in their chosen field of reportage.

        That is why a defence and/or foreign affairs reporter cannot tell that with five battalions deployed in Mali and Sudan, it is mathematically impossible to be projecting any figures less than 4,000 troops. If only they knew that each NIBATT is a minimum of 800-strong and that we have an even larger NIBATT battalion group in Mali.

        Quackery comes naturally to most journos around here. Did you not see the voluble Premium Times who feign knowledge of military matters ever so often, post photos of Malian troops whereas they were writing about Nigerian troops? How credible can an organisation which makes such elementary mistakes really be?

  39. eyimola says:

    Premium Times are one of the very worst. In fact apart from a few old-school newspapers, there are no credible journalistic sources in Nigeria. That’s why the Defence HQ need to beef up the media side of things and ensure Nigerians are kept abreast of critical information in a controlled manner.

  40. Manny Aydel says:

    Generals, my contribution here is to simply refer you all to two live theatres viz Sudan and DRC. The UN forces in Abyei (a contested area in South Sudan which the north lay claims to) is ‘defended’ by UN Ethiopian troops under a Chapter VII mandate, yet the SAF does whatever it wants there. The previous UN mission in 2011 (mainly Egyptian army), also operating under a Chapter VII mandate, looked the other way when SAF fought everything in sight to enter the area. Fast forward to 2012 in the Kivus, east of the DRC. 17,000 UN troops with a Chapter VII mandate could not stop M23 that was then thought to be below 500 fighters in strength, despite having several gunships, AIFV etc. In fact, when M23 later warned it would shoot down any UN gunships if it kept strafing them, the UN promptly grounded all its air assets! M23 was to later blast FARDC and UN infantry units off its way to capturing Goma! Publicly announcing that it had lost confidence in the UN, the initiative of East African states to have a home grown Bde drawn from their own region was hijacked by the UN, designated Neutral Intervention Force and deployed to the same Kivus where you already have 17,000 blue helmeted tourists costing the world USD1 billion annually and doing absolutely nothing! Now the world will have to pay an additional USD100 million annually to support the new Bde. So in all, the combined UN military force in the DRC costs USD1.8 billion annually, yet they could only watch from the comfort of their bunkers as a bunch of rag tag fighters created mayhem last week, sending thousands of refugees into Uganda. If it was M23 that had come to town, what would they have done? Kudos to the FG for withdrawing from Mali. Dem go hear wen!!!

    • beegeagle says:

      Thank you for that, Manny. I am sure that the UN jamboree in Mali, with its guaranteed large retinue of tourists masquerading as specialists, shall not cost less than US$1.2 bn to sustain on annual basis.

      In cost-benefit terms, the spinoffs shall be incomparably miniscule.

  41. Manny Aydel says:

    Talking about the Nigerian media, for an event happening on our doorstep, it will be quoting AFP and Reuters, when it should be the other way round. Some years ago I angrily drove to one medium (located in Ikeja) and berated them for quoting the BBC for something unfolding at MMIA Ikeja. There’s too much lazy armchair journalism going on (I say lazy because given the avalanche of info available on the net today, a brilliant journo who wants to indulge in such journalistic practice might even win a Nigerian Media Merit Award with proper use of web sources). Indeed, most of our journalists today are seriously speaking, ‘several kilometres’ below par. It is only the Nigerian media that refers to tanks as ‘armoured tanks.’ They describe areas cordoned off as ‘condoned off.’ The good old days of Julyette Ukabiala’s fine reportage of defence issues (she was the first defence correspondent of The Guardian of Lagos) are gone, though Madu Onuorah seems to be keeping the flag flying at the flagship. The fact is, as far as defence reporting is concerned today, the Nigerian media is as dead as a dodo…And this is ododo oro!

  42. beegeagle says:

    TROOPS WITHDRAWAL FROM MALI: NIGERIA PETITIONS BAN KI-MOON, UN SEC. GEN

    VANGUARD
    21 July, 2013

    Contrary to the misconception that the
    Federal Government of Nigeria is
    withdrawing its troops from the United
    Nations, UN, peacekeeping force in Mali
    because of pressing security challenges at home, Sunday Vanguard has authoritatively learnt that the action is a
    protest against the UN for naming a
    Rwandan army general as the force
    commander instead of a Nigerian officer. The Rwandan is 50-year-old General Jean-Bosco Kazura and he has been appointed to command the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali(MINUSMA).

    Nigeria’s Major General Shehu Abdulkadir, who was the force commander of African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) from inception in January 2013, was said to have come out tops in the interview for the appointment of the force commander but was sidelined, a source said.

    This is the first time Nigeria would be
    unilaterally recalling its troops from any
    UN operations. Nigeria is the fourth largest troop contributing country under the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – and no Nigerian has any appointment as force commander in any of the UN peacekeeping missions.

    “Kazura is to assume command on 1 July
    2013” which is “in accordance with the
    Security Council resolution 2100 of 25
    April 2013,” Eduardo del Buey, deputy
    spokesperson for Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the
    Secretary Generay of UN, said at a briefing. The Council resolution stipulates that the 15-member body will review the transition of authority to Kazura and “the transfer of authority is to take place from the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) to MINUSMA,” del Buey added.

    In April, the UN Security Council approved the 12, 600-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation to take over in Mali on July 1 for an initial period of 12 months. The main task of MINUSMA is to support the political process in Mali, in coordination with the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The UN currently has 15 peacekeeping operations and one special political mission – the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

    Sunday Vanguard was told by a very
    dependable source privy to the goings-on, that Nigeria had, indeed, earlier sent a protest letter to Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the UN, when the idea was being mooted that General Kazura would lead the force.

    The letter, it was learnt, expressed, in
    both strong and persuasive terms, the
    incongruity in appointing a Rwandan to
    lead a force that is preponderantly
    populated by Nigerian military personnel.

    Infact, “Nigeria had expected a favourable response from the Office of
    the Secretary General on the matter but
    going ahead with the appointment of the Rwandan suggests that the Sec. Gen. was not persuaded”, the source said.

    Of note, diplomatic sources said, is the
    fact that “Kazura fought in the 1990s in
    the ranks of the Rwandan Patriotic Front
    (RPF), the rebellion led by now President
    Paul Kagame, who took power in Kigali in 1994 to end the genocide. In 2010, he was briefly arrested for “insubordination” after travelling without permission to South Africa to watch the football World Cup and he has over 24 years of national and international military experience, as well as command and staff experience.

    In February, Nigeria sent 1200 troops for AFISMA. In terms of hardware contribution, the Nigerian Air Force deployed two Dassault-Breguet Dornier Alpha fighter jets and two Mi-35 helicopters, the C-130 transport Hercules and the medium carrier, the G222, among others.

  43. beegeagle says:

    REAL REASON WHY NIGERIA IS WITHDRAWING TROOPS FROM MALI

    THISDAY
    21 July, 2013

    Indications have emerged that the Federal Government and particularly the country’s military are no longer comfortable with the politics being associated with the United Nations peacekeeping operations in West Africa.
    This is said to be the real reason behind the recent request for the withdrawal of most of the country’s troops from peace support operations in Mali. The Federal Government had confirmed that more than two-third of the over 1000 troops deployed in Mali would be withdrawn.

    The height of what was viewed in official circles as UN politics skewed against Nigeria was the appointment of Rwanda’s Major-General Jean Bosco Kazura to command UN Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MNUSMA).

    The source clarified that Nigeria did not have anything against Kazura but felt aggrieved over the growing trend of being used by the UN to “do all the dirty jobs without getting any glory or recognition for it”.

    The source said: “We feel cheated by the UN who used us to do all the dirty works in Mali only to now dump us. We feel aggrieved, cheated and disappointed, to say the least”.

    Further investigations revealed that even though the Federal Government needed to withdraw the troops to strengthen its forces against the Boko Haram insurgents and combat other internal crises rocking the country, the action was an indirect protest against UN treatment of Nigerian contributions in peacekeeping operations.

    The source added: “You remember what happened in Sierra Leone, after our troops had done the major thing, won the war, secured the peace. First came the British to take the glory and then an Indian Lt-Gen. Vijay Jetly was given the command of the operations by the UN. Now they are bringing one Maj-Gen from Rwanda after using us to do the dirty work. “It is an issue of racism and feeling that Nigeria should not be made to feel powerful. It is totally about the disdain for the blackman”.

    The Defence Headquarters had confirmed on Thursday that Nigeria requested that some of its troops be withdrawn from Malian operations because of the ongoing internal security challenges back home in the country.

  44. (@lordfej) says:

    pleasewe have a media house now it is a 24 hours news channel based in lagos. it is tvc and i watch it where i am.

  45. doziex says:

    This is what my initial harsh criticism of Nigeria’s feeble involvement in mali was about.

    I said that mali was part of our back yard, and nothing short of one armoured and one mechanized brigade would sufficiently show our intent to politically and militarily dominate this region.

    Instead our leaders as usual failed to grasp the geopolitical significance of the Malian conflict.

    The French was actually looking to bow out of their expensive African empire. Unfortunately Nigeria has failed to MILITARILY rise to the occasion vis a vis African affairs.

    Token contributions, is a fools errand. NA during the ecomog decades, has always been about enforcing Nigeria’s will.

    So, GEJ smarting from the expected UN insults or those of us smarting at this blatant attempt to sideline Nigeria is just an exercise in futility.

    WE SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING. So, it serves us right.

    Next time, when we go “BIG DICKING” on the international stage, lets just make sure we are carrying a big stick..

    Don’t let the French and the chadians upstage us, then start expecting respect from the UK and their ilk in the UN.

    Remember, they disrespected and dishonored NA troops and people at every turn, even when we carried the load in Liberia and sierra leone.

  46. freeegulf says:

    oga doziex, u made good relevant points, really correct. however, u misunderstood the french foreign policy towards Africa and their ambitions. they re going nowhere. they, the french, re not looking to draw down in any African adventure. they like it, they cherish it, and they will continue to do it unless opposed, and u know why, because there will be no international prestige or contemporary history without Africa for the french. so be prepared to keep seeing the french fingerprints in west and central Africa.

    yes, our tentative intervention in Mali was below par. and we where upstaged by the traditional interlopers. worse, we feel ok with it since we regard that part of the subregion as french-afrique.
    what is unfortunate is that we have joined that same line of thought that believes Paris should look after the francophone west Africa and we should stay out of it, irrespective of national security or African prestige.

    for us to attain the global respect and African numero uno status that we so crave, we have to do away from such thin line mentality of francophone/anglophone west Africa. we should be able to deploy the armed forces in ANY PART OF AFRICA provided we are welcome by the general population as peace enforcers.

    France will never give up the little prestige she has left in Africa. its all part of revisionism and legacy. if we re to attain our commanding height, and certainly fill a perm seat and the UNSC, we have to beef up our arsenal, especially in terms of tactical transport, strategic reconnaissance and deep strike. and like oga doziex said, carry a big stick, do the talking and the walking.

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