Nigeria has completed pre-deployment training for 185 troops for peacekeeping mission in Guinea Bissau, army authorities said on Friday.
The 185 troops began their pre deployment training on January 6, at the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peace Keeping Centre, MLAILPKC, Jaji Kaduna State.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the troops will be Nigeria’s Company 8, in the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau, official News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported.
Buratai was represented by Maj.-Gen Kelvin Aligbe Commandant Nigerian Army School of Infantry, NASI.
He said the graduation further confirmed the commitment of Nigeria to deploy quality peacekeepers as part of its contributions to the quest for global peace and security.
He explained that the pre-deployment training was aimed at refreshing and polishing their knowledge and expertise in peace support operation.
“The training was to equip you with the requisite skills required to protect yourselves, ECOWAS Mission in Guinea, equipment and the citizens of Guinea Bissau your host nation, while carrying out the mission’s mandate,” Buratai said.
The army chief cautioned the troops to avoid any ugly incident that could tarnish the image of the Army and Nigeria during their stay in Guinea Bissau.
“Let me categorically state that you are to discharge your duties in consonance with the mission’s mandate at all times. I must also remind you that the rules of engagement in the mission give you the latitude to exhibit utmost professionalism in the discharge of your responsibilities.
Buratai asked the soldiers to respect the culture and religious sensitivity of the people in Guinea Bissau and warned that they must not involve themselves in “trafficking of illicit substance of any kind.”
He added that the ECOWAS Mission has zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse.
“The Nigerian Army and indeed the government will also not tolerate the contravention of these policies,” Buratai said.
Earlier, Maj.-Gen James Ataguba, Commandant of MLAILPKC said that the training included classroom lectures on prescribed United Nation pre-deployment training materials.
Ataguba said that the physical and field training covered areas such as intensive physical exercises, occupation of basic camp, crowd dispersal, tactical convoy movement, escort of VIP and weapons handling.
“I therefore make bold to say that the Nigerian Company 8 Economic Community of West State mission in Guinea Bissau has received adequate training required to be into any UN or regional coordinated mission,” the official said.