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Nigerian soldiers in Darfur express disappointment

By Emeka Mamah, Kaduna
Nigerian soldiers and policemen who are currently on peace mission in Darfur, Sudan are down cast.
They believe that the United Nations under which platform they went for the Mission is not founded on justice, equity and fairness as long as its activities are based on favouritism in the region.

The Nigerians believe that although the country has contributed more members of both the military and   police personnel to the UN Mission in Sudan than any other nation, the world body has not been fair to it. The UN Mission in Sudan is a hybrid of Un-African Union Force (UNAMID).

The Nigerians readily point out that the recent appointment of a Rwandan army officer, Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba (42) to head a Nigerian army general who is a much more superior and experienced   officer by the UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-Moon as an example. President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was said to have delayed protesting to the UN over the issue until Lt. Gen. Nyamvumba’s appointment was confirmed.

The new Force Commander trained at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) when most of the Mission’s sector commanders had become senior military officers.

According to the Nigerian members of the UN Mission who spoke to Vanguard, on the telephone from Darfur, Sudan, apart from rejecting the Nigerian Army General from the eastern part of the country as the Force Commander, in favour of the Rwandan junior officer, the South African Police Commissioner, Mr. Michael Fryer, recently rejected the extension of time for the Nigerian soldiers and policemen even as he approved the requests for contingents from South Africa, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroun, and Tanzania, among other African countries.

It was leant that the Nigerian Army General whose candidature was rejected came first in the interview which was conducted to pick a successor to General Martin Agwai, who left the mission recently.

This is in spite of the fact that Nigeria has contributed more troupes and resources than any member of the global body towards finding a lasting solution to the crises which has led to the killing of over 300,000 innocent civilians including women and children in the recent past in Darfur.


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