Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, has expressed the determination of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to maintain its rightful place in the Peace Support Operations (PSOs) across the world.
Olonisakin said this on Monday in Abuja at the inauguration of the Strengthening National and Regional Capacities for PSOs, Centre for Strategic research and Studies (CSRS) and National Defence College (NDC).
He was represented by Maj.-Gen. Henry Ayamasaowei, Director, Peacekeeping Operations, Defence Headquarters.
Olonisakin expressed delight at the project funded by the Government of Japan through the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), noting that such collaboration would help Nigeria scale up its operations.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria is willing and ever ready to continue to contribute its quotas to peace support operations in the sub region, in the continent and even globally, as part of our contribution to entrenching global peace and security.
“It is in that spirit that we want to reinstate our commitment to providing troops and resources to different missions across the nation and across the world.
“As it were, there was a time that Nigeria was one of the largest contributors to peacekeeping operations around the world, but in the recent past that contribution has dwindled drastically for obvious reasons.
“This kind of collaboration will help Nigeria to scale up its operation,” he said.
The Defence Chief urged National Defence College not to allow the collaboration to break anymore.
He said that Nigeria looked forward to having a sustained and robust partnership with government of Japan because they have been so good to the country by coming to collaborate with the this premier military training institution of our armed forces
Olonisakin also commended the government of Japan for making the resources available to support peace support training in the institute which he said had helped in enhancing the capacity building and increase the tempo of the nation’s support operations
He also lauded the UNDP for being very strong partner in the enterprise.
He expressed the desires that the project would go stronger for the betterment of the armed forces of Nigeria and for entire world in general.
Earlier, the Commandant of the National Defence College, Rear Adm. Mackson Kadiri, said that the project to be executed through the CSRS and the college was in collaboration with the Government of Japan and UNDP.
He said the programme was aimed at building the capacity of prospective peacekeepers for ECOWAS, AU and UN Multidimensional Peace Support Operation Missions (PSO).
Kadiri said that the project would herald the third phase of collaboration with the Government of Japan.
He said that courses to be conducted under the project include Protection of Civilian (PoC) in Armed Conflict, Gender in PSO and Logistic Support in PSO.
He said that the courses were carefully selected based on ECOWAS Training Needs Assessment (TNA) 2019 to 2022, to make ECOWAS Standby Forces more efficient to engage in multi-dimensional PSOs missions.
“The training is coming at an opportunity time due to the dynamic and changing nature of contemporary conflicts in Africa and globally which continues to pose a critical challenge to the management of PSO.
“This is the context within which the CSRS, NDC planned to conduct these courses.
He noted that in spite of the drop in UN ranking due to internal security challenges, Nigeria still maintained a strategic position in UN, AU, and ECOWAS PSO missions.
“It is in this vein that the college has been actively participating in various international fora on peace operations.
“Our participation in these fora is aimed at representing Nigeria’s continued interest in PSO, participating in the global discourse shaping PSO and incorporating the evolving in PSO in its training courses,” he said.