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UNISFA: Nigerian Troops Recognised for Outstanding Peacekeeping Efforts

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…as General Sawyerr presents UN Medal Award to Nigerian Troops in UN Peacekeeping

Nigerian troops serving with the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), have been lauded for their professionalism and outstanding Peacekeeping efforts.

Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander of UNISFA, Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr, gave the commendation, Monday, 26 February, 2024 while awarding the UN Medal to the Commanding Officer and troops of the Nigerian Base Defence Company (NBDC 1) stationed with the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).

The Medal Parade, attended by the Traditional Leaders of the Ngok Dinka Chiefdoms of the Abyei Box, OiC Deputy Force Commander and Chief Joint Border Verification Monitoring Mechanism, Members of the Mission Leadership Team, Force Chief of Staff, Principal Staff Officers of the Force Headquarters, Contingent Commanders, Department Heads, Military Observers, and Civilian Staff of the Mission, was a grand occasion.

General Sawyerr, in his address during the ceremony, expressed his immense delight and a deep sense of national pride as he bestowed the medals upon the first Nigerian Contingent deployed to UNISFA.

He highlighted their exceptional service and dedication, commending them for their outstanding performance throughout their mission tenure.

General Sawyerr praised the NBDC for their exceptional dedication in upholding Nigeria’s image in UN Peacekeeping efforts and their significant contribution to global peace initiatives.

Under the leadership of Contingent Commander Lt Col Esidiong James Nkereuwem, the NBDC-1 demonstrated professionalism, innovation, and skill, ensuring Nigeria’s positive representation within UNISFA.

Expressing his pride in his Nigerian heritage, General Sawyerr lauded the troops for their effective protection of the Force and Mission Headquarters camp, as well as their successful implementation of CIMIC activities to foster goodwill with the Abyei community and enhance UNISFA’s operational effectiveness in fulfilling its Mission Mandate.

He further commended the Commanding Officer for his bold, pragmatic, and firm leadership, which resulted in the unit maintaining a clean disciplinary record since their arrival in the Mission.

He averred that the NBDC-1 has done its share of good work in furtherance of UNISFA’s mandate, and that their exemplary efforts have set a shining example for subsequent Nigerian contingents that will be deployed.

The NBDC-1 joined UNISFA on 9th March 2023 with a contingent of 160 personnel of all ranks, including 32 female peacekeepers – the highest number of female peacekeepers in the Mission, meeting the UN’s requirement of 10 percent representation from any Troop Contributing Country (TCC). Subsequently, the unit’s strength was bolstered to 171 personnel, with the addition of a Close Protection Team for the Ag Head of Mission and Force Commander, comprising 11 personnel who were deployed on 25th November 2023.

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