By John Ikani
The Nigerian Army says is set to deploy 197 troops for the ECOWAS Peacekeeping Mission in Gambia.
This was made known by Chief of Operations, Army Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Olufemi Akinjobi on Thursday at graduation ceremony of Nigerian Company 7 held in Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre, Jaji, Kaduna State.
Akinjobi who was represented by Maj.-Gen. Zakari Abubakar, Director, Peace Operations, Army Headquarters said Out of 197 heading to Gambia, 185 are soldiers and 12 are officers.
He maintained that the ECOWAS Mission in the Gambia was established as an intervention mission to resolve the constitutional crisis that followed the disputed presidential election of 2016.
The mission, he said, had helped restore peace and stability.
While noting that Troops of Nigerian Company 7 have been deployed to Gambia seven times, Akinjobi added that Nigeria had successfully participated in 40 peacekeeping missions across the globe and deployed more than 100,000 peacekeepers since 1960.
Earlier, Commandant of the Centre, Maj.-Gen. Auwal Fagge explained that the centre had within the last four weeks refreshed the troops on some tactical aspects of peacekeeping training.
The aspects, he said, included base camp security, patrols, cordon and search, as well as escort of VIPs, amongst others.
He enjoined the troops to be good ambassadors of Nigeria and to bring to bear what they have learnt.
He asked them to fulfill the mandate of the mission and strictly adhere to the rules of engagement.
Mr Fagge also charged the troops to carry out their duties bearing in mind the multinational nature of the mission as well as cultural and religious diversities in the operating environment.
On April 2 the centre also deployed 173 troops to Guinea Bissau for a peacekeeping mission.