The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has presented special UN medals to 34 Nigerian Police Officers, including three (3) females, currently serving in UN international peacekeeping mission in Southern Sudan for their outstanding and exceptional performance in the discharge of their assigned roles.
The colourful ceremony which took place on 4th July, 2012 at the UN headquarters in Tomping-Juba, Southern Sudan had in attendance the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) – Mrs. Hilda Johnson, the Nigeria Inspector-General of Police – MD Abubakar (represented by AIG Zone 2 Lagos – AIG Mamman Ibrahim Tsafe), UN Force Commander Major General Moses Obi, UN Police Commissioner – Dr. Fredrick Yiga, the Consul-General of Nigerian mission in South Sudan – Dangiwa Kumba Gideon and other dignitaries.
In her speech, while decorating the officers with their medals, the SRSG Mrs. Hilda Johnson described the honour as hard earned considering the enormous commitment and sacrifices the officers are making in their efforts towards enthroning the rule of law in the newly independent state. She commended the Federal Government of Nigeria as well as the Nigeria Police Management Team for their strategic partnership and contributions towards global peace. She described Nigerian Police officers at the mission as one of the most resourceful and competent personnel in the mission and urged them to continue to uphold those virtues that have made the Nigeria Police Force one of the most sought after Police organizations in UN missions all over the world.
In his goodwill message to the Nigeria Police contingent, the IGP commended them for their sterling performances at the mission area which have earned them several international recognition and honour. He charged them not to deviate from those core values of discipline, professionalism, selflessness and total dedication to assigned duties which have endeared them to the UN authority and the host country. He advised them to continue to respect the laws and customs of their host communities and desist from any act capable of bringing disrepute to the Force and the nation.
In addition, the IGP expressed his gratitude to the UN authority for the confidence reposed in the Nigeria Police Force, promising that the Nigeria Police will continue to support and actively participate in international peace keeping operations, particularly in Africa. He noted that experience has shown that organized and trans-boundary crimes such as arms dealing, terrorism, drugs and human trafficking thrive better in conflict and post-conflict areas of the world, thus the need for Police Forces all over the world to work together towards global peace and stability.
On his part, the UN Police Commissioner, Dr. Yiga paid glowing tribute to the Nigeria Police peace keepers for their loyalty and unflinching commitment to the ideals of the United Nations.
Nigeria Police officers deployed to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) are deployed as Police Advisers, Mentors, capacity builders and Trainers to support the UNMISS mission in building the competence and professionalism of the South Sudanese Police Service (SSPS) in line with the UNMISS mandate of ‘strengthening the capacity of the Republic of South Sudan Police Services through advice on policy, planning, and legislative development, as well as training and mentoring in key areas’.
The first Police Contingent from Nigeria arrived South Sudan on 17th January, 2011, and since then, personnel of the Nigeria Police Force have been actively involved in efforts geared atrestoring and enthroning lasting peace in South Sudan.