Centre Graduates 62 Medical Military Personnel For Peacekeeping To Mali
The Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peace Keeping Centre (MLAILPKC) on Friday graduated 62 Nigerian Medical Contingent (NIMED) 8-level II hospital, to be deployed for a peacekeeping mission to Mali.
Addressing the graduands at the center in Jaji Military Cantonment, Kaduna, the Chief of Training, Army Headquarters, Maj-Gen Abdulsalam Ibrahim, said training the personnel received had qualified them to be deployed in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Ibrahim, who was represented by Brig-Gen Hassan Dada, noted that the graduation was in line with the commitment of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to deploying quality peacekeepers as part of its contribution to the quest for global peace and security.
He added that the pre-deployment training given to the troops was aimed at equipping them with the knowledge and expertise to function in peace support operations.
“More specifically, the training was to make them adequately prepared to deploy effectively in order to provide the specialist medical support that is required by the mission,” he said.
“It further provides them with skills required to protect themselves, United Nations equipment, and the loyal citizens of the host nation within their area of responsibility, while carrying out the mission’s mandate.”
Ibrahim explained that Mali, being a fellow West African country, has faced serious political, security, socio-economic, humanitarian, and human rights challenges after a coalition of Taureq and other terrorist groups attacked and captured some territories in the country in January 2012.
“This situation led to the deployment of AU and French forces, which later transformed into the UN MINUSMA with a Security Council mandate which included protection of civilians.
He urged the troops to maintain standards when inducted into the mission and cautioned them to avoid ugly incidents that could tarnish the professional image of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the nation in general.
He warned them against deviating from the rules of engagement in the mission, tasking them with respecting the cultural and religious sensitivity of the people of the host nation.
“You must not equally involve yourselves in the trafficking of illicit substances of any kind. Also, note that the United Nations maintains a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse. The Nigerian Armed Forces and indeed the Nigerian Government will not tolerate the contravention of this policy,” Ibrahim said.
Earlier, the Commandant of MLAILPKC, Maj-Gen Auwal Fagge, said troops were prepared for the multidimensional challenges in contemporary peacekeeping environments, which have become very dynamic and complex.
He noted that the troops have undergone four phases of training, which included weapon training, core pre-employment training, casualty evacuation, management of medical supplies, and provision of humanitarian services, among others.
Fagge urged the troops to continue to work hard to improve on the skills they acquired to positively project the image of the Nigerian Armed Forces.