The Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) has trained 62 Medical Military Contingent (NIMED) 8 Level II, to be deployed for peace mission to Mali.
The medical personnel were trained at the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peace Keeping Centre (MLAILPKC), Jaji Military Cantonment, Kaduna.
Maj.-Gen. Abdulsalam Ibrahim, Chief Training Officer, who addressed the graduands on Friday at the Centre, said the troops were qualified to be deployed in the United Nations Multi-Dimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Ibrahim, represented by Brig-Gen Hassan Dada, said that the graduation was in line with the commitment of the AFN in deploying quality peacekeepers as part of its contributions to the quest for global peace and security.
He said the pre-deployment training was designed to equip the troops with the requisite knowledge and expertise to function in peace mission.
“It further provides them with 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.
Ibrahim said that Mali, a West African country has faced serious political, security, social, economic, humanitarian and human rights challenges after a coalition of Taureqs and other terrorist groups attacked and captured some territories in Jan. 2012.
“This situation led to the deployment of AU and French forces which later transformed into the UN MINUSMA with a Security Council mandate which included protection of civilians.
He urged the troops to maintain high standard when inducted into the mission and cautioned them to avoid ugly incidents that could tarnish the professional image of the AFN and the nation in general.
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 trafficking of illicit substances of any kind, also note that the UN maintains 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.
Earlier, the Commandant of the Centre, Maj.-Gen. Auwal Fagge, said the troops were prepared for the multidimensional challenges in contemporary, dynamic and complex peace-keeping environment.
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. (NAN)