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Nigerian Army Plans To Deploy 319 Officers, Soldiers For Peacekeeping In Guinea-Bissau Amid Insecurity And Human Rights Violations

Apr 30, 2024 | International | 0 comments

An internal memo obtained by SaharaReporters has revealed that the Nigerian Army is set to commence pre-deployment training for 319 troops slated for a peacekeeping mission in Guinea-Bissau. Despite escalating insecurity within Nigeria, the troops are scheduled to begin training on May 15, 2024, at the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC) in Jaji, Kaduna State.

The memo, referencing vacancies for personnel nomination for the Nigerian Company 2 ECOWAS Stabilization Support Mission in Guinea Bissau, disclosed that nominations were received from various Corps and Headquarters. The selected personnel are mandated to undergo medical screening and pre-deployment training at MLAILPKC Jaji before deployment to the mission area.

The document emphasized the importance of nominated personnel reporting for medical screening and training by May 15, 2024, warning that failure to do so would result in disqualification. Additionally, personnel must have a valid international passport or those who have not spent five years after returning from previous Peace Support Operations to be disqualified.

Led by Lieutenant Colonel U.J. Atelhe, the troop contingent comprises 19 officers and 300 soldiers. However, some military sources have expressed concerns about deploying troops abroad while grappling with domestic insecurity challenges.

Nigeria’s security landscape has witnessed intense violence in recent months, with insurgency, banditry, and kidnapping plaguing various regions. The Global Terrorism Index (2024) ranks Nigeria as the eighth-worst nation prone to terrorism, with no improvement since 2017.

In addition to the security crisis, reports of human rights abuses by Nigerian soldiers have surfaced, including incidents of harassment, assault, and intimidation of journalists, activists, and civilians critical of the government. Such actions undermine efforts to foster peace and stability within the country.

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