Defence Minister Blames Insurgency for Nigeria’s  Declining Participation in Peace-keeping Operations

Mansur Dan-Al

•  MNJTF kills Boko Haram commander, 15 others in Lake Chad

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Minister of Defence, Brigadier-General Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd) weekend attributed Nigeria’s declining participation in global peace-keeping operations to the country’s concentration of military assets on the war against insurgency in the North-east.

The minister’s position comes as the Multinational Joint Taskforce (MNJTF) said it has killed a notorious Boko Haram Commander and 15 others in ongoing clearance operations in the Lake Chad Basin.

Speaking at the United Nations Peace-keeping Ministerial Meeting on Uniformed Capabilities Performance and Protection of Civilians at UN Headquarters in New York, the minister said Nigeria’s participation in peacekeeping operations had declined as a result of the country’s commitment to the war against insurgency.

“Nigeria’s participation in UN Peace-keeping has declined significantly of recent, mainly due to her commitment to the war on insurgency in the North-eastern part of the country and   sub-regional peacekeeping commitments. I am pleased to inform Your Excellences that a lot of successes have been achieved in the fight against terrorism and we are in the process of demining affected areas and rebuilding communities.

“These successes have no doubt been made possible with the collaboration from international community and countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission”, he said in a statement issued in Abuja.

Mansur Dan-Ali stated that “despite the above mentioned challenges, Nigeria has continued to play its role in supporting the United Nations and other stakeholders to achieve international peace and security. One of such areas is through the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre, Jaji in Kaduna State.

“The center which is aimed at delivering realistic training packages on peace support operations to potential United Nations and regional peacekeepers received recognition from the United Nations Integrated Training Service in August 2018.

“The renewal of the recognition has been requested by the center to meet up with international standards. This was after the curriculum was reviewed and updated in line with the present-day peacekeeping contemporary challenges.

“When approved, the center would serve as an additional training hub to the Regional Service Centre Entebbe, Uganda, thereby reducing its burden”.

Meanwhile, as part of its ongoing operations, the Multinational Joint Task Force weekend eliminated a Boko Haram Commander and 15 other terrorists in Lake Chad Basin.

A war update by the Spokesman of the MNJTF, Col. Timothy Antigha, stated that “in the continuing escalation of offensive operations aimed at making islands and other settlements in Lake Chad untenable for Boko Haram terrorists, troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) over the weekend embarked on clearance operation in Kerenoa and adjourning areas.

Troops “made contact with Boko Haram terrorists at Andakar Camp. In the ensuing fire-fight, Malloum Moussa, Boko Haram Commander and 15 of his men were neutralised. Five gun trucks were also destroyed. A woman whose relationship with the terrorists is yet to be determined was apprehended.

“Information gathered has revealed that Malloum Moussa who had one eye was a high ranking Boko Haram commander who had jurisdiction in the entire southern islands, including Daban Masara, Kirta Wulgo and Koleram. He was notorious for imposing hefty levies on farmers, fishermen and cattle herders to fund Boko Haram terrorism and insurgency in the locality”.