Mohammed Dan Ali Defence to review Nigeria's peace-keeping policy

According to him, under the UN system, the quantity and quality of equipment that you send determines what the UN reimburses you.

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The Federal Government will review the country’s peace keeping policy in order to maximise benefits accruable in participating in peace support operations.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Amb. Danjuma Sheni, said this at the closing of two-day seminar on Peace Support Operation, organised by his ministry in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said a revised policy on peace-keeping operation would ensure that Nigeria got value for resources invested in operations.

Sheni decried a situation where the country invested huge human and material resources in peace support operations and got less benefit in return.

``In the last three days, we have been taking stock, generally speaking of our participation in peace keeping operations.

``We noticed in particular the kind of challenges Nigeria has been facing. The purpose of the seminar is to look at the way forward.

``First of all, we need to improve on the quality and quantity of our contingent’s equipment to peace support operations‘’, he said.

He said Nigeria would leverage on other areas of its participation in peace support operations to boost its economic diversification plan.

Sheni added that the ministry would convene a meeting of stakeholders regularly to ensure that the revised policy was implemented.

``We need to look outside the traditional peace keeping operations in terms of combat and look at other areas called enablers particularly the medical field.

``So, we will be looking at those directions in order to enhance our participation.

``The level and quality of our participation will determine what kind of reimbursement we get from UN.

``So, as the country begins to look towards diversifying sources of foreign exchange earnings, I think peace keeping operations if handled properly can be another source of foreign earning for us.’’

Sheni said lack of commitment and genuine investment was responsible for Nigeria’s inability to maximise its participation in peace support operations despite many years of sacrifice to the cause for global peace.

According to him, under the UN system, the quantity and quality of equipment that you send determines what the UN reimburses you.

He said a country usually does not get much from the UN if its equipment stock fell short of the approved template for equipment approved for their peace support operations.

On Nigeria’s eventual withdrawal from Liberia under the UN mission, Sheni said the withdrawal was not total as a substantial number of Nigerian troops would stay back in the West African country.

He said it was a normal development for a country’s contingent to peace support operations to pull out especially where the clear objective had been achieved.

According to the permanent secretary, over 1,000 men and women, including police and medical service personnel, would still remain in Liberia.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that stakeholders in Nigeria’s peace support operations participated in the two-day event. 

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