Nigeria’s Armed Forces have trained 62 Medical Military Contingent (NIMED) 8 Level II troops to be deployed to Mali on a peace mission.
They were trained at the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peace Keeping Centre, Jaji Military Cantonment, Kaduna.
Major General Abdulsalam Ibrahim, who addressed the graduands at the Centre on Friday, told them they were qualified to join the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Ibrahim, represented by Brig-Gen Hassan Dada, said that the graduation was in line with the AFN’s commitment to deploying quality peacekeepers as part of the quest for global peace and security.
He said the pre-deployment training was designed to prepare the troops for peace missions by equipping them with the necessary knowledge and expertise.
“It further provides them with the skills required to protect themselves, UN equipment and the loyal citizens of the host nation within their area of responsibility, while carrying out the mission’s mandate.
“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.
A coalition of Taureqs terrorist groups and other groups attacked and captured some territories in Mali in January 2012, Ibrahim says. Mali is currently facing serious political, security, social, economic, humanitarian, and human rights challenges.
“This situation led to the deployment of AU and French forces which later transformed into UN MINUSMA with a Security Council mandate which included protection of civilians.
He urged the troops to maintain high standards and avoid incidents that could taint the professional image of the AFN and nation at large.
He warned them against deviating from the Rules of Engagement in the mission and tasked them on 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 UN maintains a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse.
“The AFN and indeed the Nigerian Government will also not tolerate the contravention of this policy,” he said.
Fagge said the troops were exposed to four phases of training including weapon training; core pre-deployment training, casualty evacuation, management of medical supplies and provision of humanitarian services, among others.
Fagge tasked the troops to continue to work hard to improve on the skills they acquired to positively project the image of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
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