Irabor asserts Nigeria spent $8bn restoring peace in Liberia
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, revealed on Wednesday that the Nigerian government had invested $8 billion to bring peace to Liberia.
During his keynote address at the celebration for the 75th anniversary of the United Nations peacekeeping operations, Gen. Irabor revealed this.
More than 200,000 Nigerian soldiers have participated in UN peacekeeping missions across the globe, according to the Chief of Defence Staff.
He said, “Nigeria has been unwaveringly committed to the principles and objectives of the United Nations since the first engagement of troops from our Armed Forces in the Congo in 1960. It has made a significant contribution to 41 international peacekeeping operations.
Since then, more than 200,000 Nigerian soldiers have participated in UN peacekeeping operations around the world, with some of these operations being led by senior military officers from Nigeria.
Nigeria has actively participated in peacekeeping operations in a number of field missions, according to Gen. Irabor.
“Likewise, under regional and sub-regional cooperation, Nigeria has been involved in peacekeeping operations in field missions in Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Liberia, Mali, Darfur, and Sierra Leone and has contributed significantly in terms of finance, logistics, troops, and civilian experts, making her one of the most important African nations in terms of troop and civilian police contributions to UN missions,” he continued.
“It is noteworthy that the ECOMOG, a regional interventionist mediation force favoured to end the protracted Liberian civil war, was operated at an estimated cost of USD 8 billion to the Nigerian government, in addition to the loss of lives and injuries to personnel.”
He stated that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the Police have continued to provide troops to support the country’s commitment to the UN in spite of the security challenges brought on by the activities of non-state actors and other criminal elements that have besieged the country.
Gen. Martin Agwai, the event’s special guest of honour, also spoke, noting that the UN Peacekeeping mission had been a special and dynamic tool to assist nations in conflict transition to long-lasting peace.
“As we commemorate this milestone, let us think back on the past and forward,” Agwai said. To strengthen our collective efforts to promote world peace and security, we must cooperate.
António Guterres, the UN Secretary General, paid tribute to the more than 4,200 peacemakers who died preserving peace around the world.
“Many peacemakers have paid the ultimate price in carrying out this essential work,” Guterres said in his message for the occasion. More than 4,200 peacekeepers have died while working for the UN.
“We stand in sympathy and solidarity with their families, friends, and colleagues, and will forever be inspired by their selfless devotion to the cause of peace.”