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Nigerian Army deploys 800 officers, soldiers to Dafur; restricts of social media

The Nigerian Army is set to deploy 45 officers and 755 combat-ready troops for deployment to Darfur region in Sudan to compliment United Nations peace-keeping mission in that country.

Officers and soldiers of Nigerian Battalion (NIBBAT) 46 have undergone four weeks extensive and comprehensive pre-deployment training in line with UN recommendation and vision of Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai to enable them cope with situation in Dafur.

The officers and troops are expected to take off in two weeks’ time.

The COAS, who believed that the officers and troops have been well-trained and refreshed on their knowledge on managing crisis situation, urged them to be disciplined and responsive to any challenge that may arise bearing in mind the image of Nigeria and that of Army in their discharges.

Represented at the graduation ceremony at the Nigerian Army Peace Keeping Centre (NAPKC), Jaji on Tuesday by General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division Mechanized Army, Major-General Adeniyi Oyebade, the Army Chief said, the training further confirmed the commitment of NA to deploy quality peacekeepers as part of Nigeria’s laudable contributions for global peace and security.

Buratai cautioned the soldiers to avoid any ugly incident that can tarnish the professional image of Nigerian Army and Nigeria which include uploading pictures and video of their operation on social media, drugs, human rights, protection of civilians in armed conflicts and sexual exploitation and abuse among others.

“I expect all the officers to exercise firm command and control. You must ensure to look after the welfare of your men including their feeding and medical needs.

“You have no reason not to succeed because Nigerian State has provided you with all that you needed to do the country and your family proud”, the GOC urged.

Commandant, NAPKC, Brigadier-General Adamu Dauda in his address noted that NAPKC in its mandate has the responsibility of providing quality training for troops earmarked for peace support operations.

He restated that, the philosophy behind the training is in line with the Army Headquarters’ vision of deploying quality peacekeepers for peace support operations.

“Due to significant respect for the professionalism of the NA at home and abroad, the role of the NIBATT was changed to Force Reserve Battalion (FRB). This unique training has equipped NIBATT 46 with robustness, agility and right frame of mind to efficiently handle any threat at Darfur”.

Meantime, the Army has barred its officers and soldiers on duty from uploading pictures and videos of their operation on social media.

Making the disclosure also in Jaji, Kaduna, GOC 1 Division Mechanized Army, Major-General Adeniyi Oyebade, said “it is prohibited to upload any picture with your uniforms while in operation”.

“Specifically, I want to warn you on the use of social media. While you are on operation, you may want to take photo shot of some good moment but you should be very careful while doing that.

“Avoid any picture or video that has to do with your colleague or operation. You are barred not to upload such information. It is prohibited to upload any picture with your uniforms while in operation because it will become a pragmatic problems for the Nigerian Army”, he said.

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