Nigerian troops graduate from pre-deployment training at the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre, Jaji


7 August, 2013

THE Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika Wednesday, vowed that the military will soon bring the Boko Haram menace to a conclusive end in Nigeria, just as another batch of 800 soldiers on peacekeeping mission were deployed to Darfur.

General Ihejirika explained that the
military has resolved to put an end to
the insurgency that pervaded some parts of the north for so long, at the
graduation of the basic counterterrorism course for soldiers in Jaji, near Kaduna Wednesday. Besides, the assurance of the Chief of Army Staff was also on the heels of the admonition by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Garba Wahab warning to the troops on their way to Darfur to stay away from ugly incidents that could dent the image of Nigeria.

The GOC who spoke during the 21 Battalion pre-deployment graduation at
the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre
in Jaji, said the Nigerian Army will not
accept any situation where its troops
are disarmed. According to him, “you must fight to discharge your duties in consonance with the mission mandate when the need arises, especially when there is no alternative if you are to protect yourselves, your colleagues, civilians and property in the course of executing your tasks”.

“You must remember that the Rules of
Engagement issued and taught to you
are not to restrict you, but to offer
guidance in the use and application of
force. “You must not involve yourselves in the trafficking of illicit substances of any kind, such as alcohol and drugs as these are very offensive to the cultural values of the Darfur people and negates UN ethics. I must also remind you of the UN zero tolerance policy on sexual
exploitation and abuse.

Earlier in his welcome address,
Commandant Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre (NAPKC), Major
General Salihu Uba said the centre has
within the period of its existence
expanded in both manpower and facilities to ensure troops receive the
needed robust and theatre-specific pre-
deployment training.

Major General Uba who represented the
Army Chief at the counter terrorism
graduation, argued that it was the
responsibility of the armed forces to
bring the menace of the Boko Haram to
a conclusive end. He also added that the Nigerian Army in particular cannot afford to fail in its resolve to bring the menace to its knees.


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. eyimola says:

    More troops for Darfur?
    I thought the FGN was pulling out of the UN business

  2. jimmy says:

    I believe this is a on going biz planned a while back in terms of rotational sequences. i sincerley hope REGARDLESS of whatever mollifying ATTEMPTS ARE MADE BY THE U.N. Nigeria needs for it’s own strategic interests to move out of the p.k.o biz this aspect should be left to other countries. We need to move into P.E.O. I am however encouraged by the message of the DIVISION commander MAJ .Gen Wahab that disarmament of a NIGERIAN Soldier is unacceptable.

  3. beegeagle says:

    I think 21 Battalion are merely going to relieve another unit which have completed their 6-month tour of duty.

    This deployment does not necessarily override the plan for a scaling down of troop presence in Darfur from four battalions to a more reasonable two battalions, given the imperatives of these times in Nigeria where there is an intensive requirement for troops on the ground in insurgency-affected areas where the size of the most critical ’emergency rule’ area is just as important as the sheer number of communities under threat and the mountainous and desertified terrain across large parts thereof.

    We did say here sometime ago, just to put things in perspective, that at the time when the defunct Directorate of Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructure enumerated Nigerian communities in 1988, we had 94,000 communities. At the time, pre-partition Sudan, the largest country in Africa at that time, had about 33, 000 communities while the DR Congo and Ethiopia each had 40,000 and 45,000 communities in that order.

    With northeastern Nigeria alone spanning an area of over 265,000 sq km, it is anyone’s guess how many communities there are where troops could be challenged to man the turf.

    The COAS has called for the NA to be expanded from 100,000 to 150,000 officers and men. Until we get past the figure of 120,000 men, methinks we should put a cap of a total of four battalions PLUS two combat engineer platoons, one K9 platoon, one field engineer squadron, two signals squadrons and three platoon-sized medical units as the upward limit of troops which should be deployed outside this country, PREFERABLY on peace enforcement missions. No more than 4,000 troops.

    If it be the usual PKO thing, four battalions flat and no more would be my own ideal contribution.

  4. Yagazie says:

    OGA Beegz- i agree with you. Future Peace Keeping Deployments must be governed by what is in our nation’s STRATEGIC NATIONAL INTEREST. My educated guess (and I concede to more enlightened/expert views on this point) is that with Dafur having dessert like terrain similar to what obtains in the fringes of Northern Nigeria, sending some of our troops there (Dafur) will enhance their dessert warfare skills/techniques. It would also enhance their ‘opeartional experience’ whcih can then be collated and passed on at our training institutions such as NDA Kaduna, CSC Jaji etc. So to that extent, it is useful to have our troops have a limited participation in these UN operations. However there has to be a caveat- namely that (i) they go with the proper/requisite equipment (ii) they are commanded by and only take operational orders from Nigerian Commanders- and (iii) that they have the ability to robustly engage and take out any idiot(s) foolhardy enough to attack them- irrespective of what the UN mandate says to the contrary. We want all our boys and girls back home safe.

  5. beegeagle says:

    Indeed, Mighty Yagz. I am aware that the capitals of the state capitals of South Darfur(Nyala), West Darfur (El Geneina) and El Fasher (North Darfur) exactly correspond with the latitudinal perches of Kano, Baga and Illela in that order. The similarity of the physical environments is striking.

    As for Rules of Engagement, what the UN have operable at this time is frankly too timid for the well-advertised belligerence of the Darfuri militants.

    You know, one very close friend of mine, a Lieutenant Colonel, who has had two tours of duty to Darfur, fought during the Niger Delta Insurgency and is an ECOMOG veteran who saw action extensively in 1997-99 in Sierra Leone to which he got deployed almost as soon as he was commissioned in 1996, told me that in Darfur those airhead militants sometimes take headshots at peacekeepers for no apparent reason than the need to demonstrate the fact that they are still on ground.

    It is just incredible. Such profound disregard for the sanctity of human lives?

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