General Irabor, who disclosed this during the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO), at the UN House, in Abuja, also disclosed that through ECOMOG, Nigeria supported the restoration of President Ahmed Tejan Kabbar and his government in Sierra Leone, which paved the way for the deployment of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone.
He said the emergence of the United Nations (UN) in 1945 brought a more dynamic posture in international relations and has positively impacted the pursuit of international peace and security.
General Irabor said: “Nigeria is proud to be one of the current 113 troop contributing countries and has contributed military and police officers to UN Peacekeeping Operations for over 60 years. Since the first engagement of troops of our Armed Forces in the Congo, in 1960, Nigeria has been unequivocally committed to the principles and objectives of the United Nations.
“It has significantly contributed to 41 peacekeeping operations worldwide. Ever since, over 200,000 Nigerian troops have served in UN Peacekeeping missions worldwide, and Nigerian senior military officers have commanded some of these missions.”
He further appreciated the UN agencies in Nigeria for their contributions to peace and for providing humanitarian assistance to victims of conflicts and disasters across Nigeria.
The Special Guest of Honour and the first Hybrid Force Commander to the UN/AU hybrid mission in Darfur, Gen. Martin Luther Agwai, (rtd), said as at the end of 2022, record showed that Nigeria contributed 335 military and 138 police, in service under the aegis of MINUSMA for peacekeeping in Mali, noting that Nigeria remained committed to contributing to global peacekeeping effort.
The Resident Coordinator, UN Systems in Nigeria, Mr. Matthias Schmale, said Nigeria has played a major role in the success of UN Peacekeeping Operations.
He said: “Since 1948, UN Peacekeepers have worked to save lives and protect communities in the world’s most fragile security situations. Their solemn duties sprang from the opening words of the UN Charter, written amid the ashes of World War II: ‘we the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’…”
In his message, the Secretary General of United Nations, António Guterres, said more than 87,000 peacekeepers from 125 countries currently serve in 12 operations.
He further disclosed that since 1948, more than two million peacekeepers have served in 71 missions, helping countries navigate the difficult path from war to peace.