Greener Journal of Social Sciences

Vol. 10(1), pp. 09-16, 2020

ISSN: 2276-7800

Copyright ©2020, the copyright of this article is retained by the author(s)

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A Study of Nigeria in Congo International Peace Keeping Operation

 

 

Ogunsola, Abayomi Olusegun; Adisa, Olufemi Peniel

 

 

Department of Political Science, School of Secondary Education, Arts and Social Science Programmes, Emmanuel Alayande College of Education Oyo, P.M.B. 1010 Oyo State, Nigeria

 

 

ARTICLE INFO

ABSTRACT

 

Article No.: 01212013

Type: Review

 

 

Nigeria being a peacekeeping country has been involved in peacekeeping operations since her Independence in 1960 both in Africa and the world around. Premise on the above, the paper examined Nigeria in Congo international peacekeeping operations. The study is based on liberal peace theory. The study adopted a systematic qualitative technique. It involved secondary source of data where data for analysis were sourced from newspapers, relevant books, journals, publications and the internet, It was discovered that Nigeria is yet to optimize its longerstanding participation in peacekeeping internationally due to lack  of policy and institutional  coherence of political strategies and to some extent operational  levels. It has equally been noted that Nigeria has utilized international peacekeeping as a foreign policy tool which has not yielded commensurate benefit to her.

 

Accepted:  24/01/2020

Published: 26/02/2020

 

*Corresponding Author

Adisa, Olufemi Peniel

E-mail: penielizabeth824@ gmail.com, dnpenieliza@ eacoed.edu.ng

 

Keywords: Conflicts; Cooperation; Development; Operations; Peacekeeping; Policy

 

 

 

 

 


INTRODUCTION

 

Conflicts are very rampant among people. Conflicts are an everyday phenomenon within a nation as well as between and among comity of nations. Conflicts have assumed epidemic proportions and an impediment to development. However, it is observed that Africa is the most conflict ridden region of the world. Consequently, since independence in 1960, Nigeria’s interest as commitment to world peace has put her in the forefront to troop contributing nations to support UN, OAU (now AU) and Ecowas-Led Peacekeeping Operations.

At the outset of her independence, Nigeria provided UN peacekeeping to Congo (ONUC) between 1960 and 1964. Ever since, she has been an active participant in the UN peacekeeping mission, deploying military contingents, unarmed military observers, military staff officers, formed police units, military and civilian personnel deployed in UN peacekeeping operations and the African Union Mission. Nigeria has also played pivotal roles in other non-UN missions in Africa, being an influential power in West Africa. Nigeria has been a major provider of military and other resources for ECOWAS peacekeeping operations in its various missions.

For the active support service and participation in international peacekeeping, Nigeria has been rightly singled out for praise at the highest levels of the UN. However, it must be noted that the human, material and financial losses incurred in these involvements have been enormous. The huge resources expended on the operations at the detriment of the country’s domestic need cannot be overemphasized. With this promise and many more, Nigeria is yet to optimize its longstanding contributions to peacekeeping globally. In essence, the enormous contributions of Nigeria to global peacekeeping notwithstanding, most people still find it difficult to acknowledge and appreciate the impact Nigeria has made in these operations. This paper will therefore extend the frontier of knowledge in Nigeria’s peacekeeping operations for better understanding/ appreciation and foresee strategic framework for future peacekeeping operations using or focusing on Nigeria in Congo international peacekeeping Operations.

 

 

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

 

At Independence, Nigeria’s elite opined that peacekeeping was part of the price to pay to be among the nations who make the rules. This belief was unanimously expressed in the country’s mission to spearhead the rebirth and all around development of Africa. To a certain extent the contributions of Nigeria to international peacekeeping operations cannot be over emphasized since her independence in 1960. Nigeria became a prominent actor both within and outside the international system. Nigeria by all standards is committed to regional peace and global security, despite the fact that the world is conflictually structured as a result of high technological advancement particularly from the Western world. It is however, disheartening to observe that Nigeria’s participation in the peacekeeping operations ever since is yet to yield the benefit to the nation. One major area which needs to be addressed is the issue of Nigerian citizens abroad. One can cite many instances where Nigerian citizens have been subjected to degrading treatments or even violent attacks, sometimes leading to death. Some of the countries where these incidents occurred have benefited in one way or the other from Nigeria’s international peacekeeping operations either through the UN platform or otherwise. Another area which needs to be addressed is the domestic problems confronting Nigeria in terms of security challenges of Boko Haram, Fulani Herdsmen and Farmer’s conflict, Kidnapping and so on. Nigeria cannot continue to be weak inside and project the image of a strong and virile nation abroad as it were. These among many others motivate the need for this study.

 

 

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

 

The goal of this study is to assess Nigeria in Congo International peacekeeping Operations. Specifically, the objectives of the study include the following:

 

1.     To examine Nigeria’s Participation

2.     To assess challenges of Nigeria’s participation in peacekeeping Operations

 

 

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

 

1.     To what extent was Nigeria’s participation in peacekeeping in Congo?

2.     What are the challenges of Nigeria’s participation in peacekeeping Operations?

 

 

METHODOLOGY

 

The research methodology adopted in the study is the systematic qualitative technique. The study relied on secondary source of data where data for the analysis were sourced from newspapers, relevant books, Journals, publications and the internet.

 

 

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

 

The concepts of conflicts and peacekeeping are the main concerns of this paper hence, some scholarly works are reviewed. Conflict is used in two senses. It refers to an incompatibility in a multi-party or multi-issue situation, in other words, a state of affairs in which two or more irreconcilable views or options are posited towards the solution of a particular problem. In the second sense, conflict refers to the violent expression of this incompatibility of irreconcilability. Even though the two conceptions overlap, it is in the later sense that the term conflict is used within the context of this work.

The term conflict is derived etymologically from latin verb confligere (to clash, engage in a fight). It refers to a confrontation between individuals or a group resulting from opposite or incompatible ends or means. Alex Schmid (2002) further added that, conflict as an antagonistic situation or adversarial process between at least two individuals or collective actors over means or ends such as: resources, power, status, values, goals, relations or interest. To him, the range of outcomes includes victory, defeat, domination, surrender, neutralization, conversion, coercion, injury or destruction and elimination of opposite party, or alternatively the solution, settlement or transformation of conflict issue. According to Diller (1997:6) conflict is any form of confrontation between two or more parties resulting from a situation where (these) two or more independent groups or system of actions have incompatible goals. Danrendorf (1959:135) sees conflict as ‘A contest competition, dispute and tensions as well as manifest clashes between social forces’, Boulding (1978:5)… is a situation of competition in which the parties are aware of the incompatibility of the potential future position and in which the aims of the group or individuals involved are not only obtain the desired values but to neutralize, injure or eliminate rivals’.

The term ‘peacekeeping” involve the deployment of military and police, and frequently civilian personnel to assist in the implementation of agreements reached between governments or parties who have been engaged in conflict. Peacekeeping presumes cooperation and its method are inherently peaceful.

Agwu (2007) indicated that peacekeeping consists essentially of observer mission and lightly armed forces monitoring ceasefire, operating in an essentially static mode with the consent of the parties involved. In its traditional sense, peacekeeping means conflict containment and it adopted the form of neutral outside assistance to medicate and encourage belligerent parties to disengage (Dokubo, 2005:253). Peacekeeping in this context, is a technique that expands the possibilities for both the prevention of conflict and the making of peace. Hence peacekeeping as a third contingency approach to conflict management, according to Bassey is “one of the novel techniques’ of “Conflict Diplomacy” which has gained wide currency in the contemporary international era. Demurento & Nikitin (1997:124) explained peacekeeping forces in their own view as “Civilian and military personnel designated by the national governments of the countries participating in the peace operation.’

These personnel are placed at the disposal of the regional organization under whose mandate the given operation is being conducted. Peacekeeping forces are made up of national contingents under the regional command. Each national contingent is assigned either a zone of responsibility or specific functional duties for Evans. (1993:11-12)

 

“Peacekeeping involves more than unarmed or lightly armed military contingents being engaged in the monitoring, supervision and verification of cease-fire, withdrawal, better zone and related agreement” (1993:11-12)

 

It has also been argued that peacekeeping requires a well- defined focus to ensure greater political sensitivity and susceptibilities. This is because the interests of countries tend to affect the perception and attitude of contingents in conflict situations. He reiterates the need for an appropriate and well-defined legal framework for peacekeeping at the regional levels. To achieve this goal, the issue of the theory of hegemonic stability of states which assumes that:  “The world as a system requires a dominant leader for all its subsystems to function smoothly and to be stable”, comes to the fore of peacekeeping efforts therefore, will often be embarked upon in stabilizing peace and security in areas adjudged to be replete with conflicts.

 

 

LITERATURE REVIEW

 

Nigeria first provided UN peacekeepers to Congo (ONUC) from 1959 to 1964. Since then, Nigeria has been an active participant in UN peacekeeping mission; deploying military contingents, unarmed military observers, military staff officers, formed police units, police advisors and civilian experts to over 25 UN missions. Nigeria is currently one of the largest UN contributing countries with military and civilian personnel deployed in ten UN peacekeeping operations and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISIM). Nigeria has also played pivotal roles in other non-UN missions in Africa. As the preponderant power in West Africa,  Nigeria has been the main provider of military and other resources for ECOWAS peace operations to the tune of US$ 8 billion in its various missions in Cote d’Ivoire. Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone. During the peak of the Liberian and Sierra Leonean civil wars in the 1990s, Nigeria provided over 70% of ECOMOG’s military and civilian personnel, as well as logistical support. In 2003, it deployed 1,500 troops to the ECOWAS Mission in Liberia (ECOMIL), and a medical and signals team to the ECOWAS Mission in Cote d’Ivoire in 2003 (ECOMICI). In 2004, 1,500 Nigerian troops were deployed in Darfur as part of the AU mission in Sudan (AMIS). Recently, Nigeria also provided 1,200 troops to the African-led international Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) and 200 police officers to AMISOM. Nigeria deployed the first set of individual police officers (IPOS) in Africa in ONUC in 1960 while the pioneer formed Police Unit (FPU) of 120 officers was deployed in Liberia in 2004

Peacekeeping is essentially a third-party supervised tool that enables a peaceful settlement to be negotiated. Used in isolation, or where other modes of conflict management were ineffective, peacekeeping only freezes the status quo but does not resolve the dispute. The security challenges are increasingly diverse, differentiated and fragmented. It is more evident that developing a conflict resolution mechanism that will contain and manage conflict as well as its violent effects is more paramount. However, the increasing dispersion and regionalization of threats are not confined to Africa alone. Many of the security challenges are generated within individual societies, spread across borders to their surrounding environment, and exacerbated by unhealthy regional dynamics. In the western hemisphere, narcotics syndicates originate on one side of the world but target and exploit vulnerable societies on the other side. To dig further, the current security threats encompass challenges to human security and a whole series of social and environment degradation along with traditional military security challenges. And they occur in a time of bewildering connectivity and advancing political complexity as the world becomes increasingly and simultaneously interlinked and multi-centric. During the cold war, there was little official interest in conflict management, that is, the use of non-military means such as mediation, “good offices” or pre-emptive diplomatic engagement to promote negotiated alternatives to violence and political upheaval. Although nuclear deterrence was underpinned by diplomacy and the credible threat to use the force, conflict management was generally viewed in one – dimensional term.

The dominant powers in a Bipolar international system sought to manage Their conflict in order to avoid a loss of face or strategic setbacks and to prevent their conflict from escalating….out of control” (Diebel, 2007). However, they had little interest in using the tools of negotiation, mediation and preventive statecraft more broadly to promote durable settlements, institution-building, good governance, development and the promotion of the rule of law; in history moments of geopolitical change often produce new institutions as a response to that change.

The question is whether the world needs another institutional approach to conflict management and security? Would a new institution is capable of responding to the complex challenges of present day conflict? Do we understand the nature of the challenge well enough to design a capable institution? there may be growing recognition that local, regional and global security are linked and that national security is connected to preventing or managing conflicts, the exact nature of these links remain obscure. Also obscure is the rod ahead as far as reform and innovation in global institutions are concerned. There are three reasons for this: first, there are huge political hurdles to real reform, as the example of the UN security Council makes clear; second, security has become divisible, making quest for consensus and coherence elusive; and third, many actors prefer that current institutional endowment remain weak and imperfect instead of looking to a new institution or a new set of responsibilities for an existing institution, we need to recognize that this new collaborative patterns of behaviour are  becoming apparent in the conflict management field. In these new patterns, approaches which depend on only one country or institution have been replaced by a growing network if formal and informal institutional arrangements operate across national, sub regional boundaries. These arrangements occur for a variety of reasons – some are encouraging others while some are not - and the results appear to vary widely.

Conflict mitigation and resolution has thus become the dominant governance activity in almost every part of Africa. Many of these conflicts seem intractable; conflict mitigation and resolution initiatives are at best yielding model success. Even so, such successes typically provide peace in short term but hardly lay the foundation of reconstitution of order and the attainment of sustainable peace.

HThe recurrence and re-escalation of conflicts in various parts of the world, most especially in the developing states, has indeed made the word…sustainable peace” an illusion. A lot can be said on the havoc wrecked by these conflicts on the people and the devastating effects on the natural environment and even on the economic strength of the state involved. Regrettably, all efforts made to put an end to wars, conflict around the globe yield little or no significant results since conflict recur and the proclivity conflict remained undefeatable (Adegbite et al, 2005:2). Be that as it may, the place of Africa in the New Millennium is characterized by recurring instability, inter/intra- state wars, insecurity, political and economic problems. The intensity and destructiveness of Africa’s conflicts accelerated tremendously, posing complex challenges to the peaceful resolution of conflict in particular and the advancement of peaceful co-existence between groups in general (Adar, 2004:247). Put differently, most visible manifestations of the problems facing the continent is the invidious and intractable proliferation of conflict. Africa continued to witness protracted civil wars which have taken the centre stage in the political lives of the continent, with attendant devastating consequence for peace, security and sustainable development. Undoubtedly, if the idea and practice of searching for peace are as old as humanity, then it follows that the history of wars and conflicts, which are its harbingers, is older (Onoja, 1996).

Africa is the most conflict-ridden region of the world and the only region in which the number of armed conflicts is on the increase. Conflicts have assumed epidemic proportions and an impediment to development. A few facts may help to illustrate the immensity and destructiveness posed by these conflicts. By 1966, average percentage of war related deaths in the world were in Africa. As a result, Africa accounted for over 8 million of the twenty-two million refugees Worldwide (World Refugee Survey, 1998). During the 1980s, Africa witnessed nine wars, numerous other instances of large-scale violent conflicts and a kaleidoscope of coups, riots and demonstrations. These hostilities exacted a great toll on Africa in terms of the destruction of human life, cultural damage, economic disruption, and lost investment opportunities. Indeed, it is difficult to foresee significant economic and social development over wide stretches of Africa until the burden of violent conflicts is eased. Of the nine wars, Sudan, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique and Uganda – were major, with death totals, including civilian deaths, ranging from 60,000 to 100,000 commonly reported in Angola, and three million in Sudan. In these large wars, the overwhelming majority of victims were civilians, including countless children, who were deprived of food, shelter, and access to healthcare because of the war. Three other wars, in Namibia, western Sahara and Chad, probably resulted in deaths numbering in the civilian toll was not as much as those above, Little is known about the situation in Northern Somalia. Although the flight of 350,000 refugees to Ethiopia suggests that substantial fighting has taken place (Africa Watch Committee, Somalia, 1990). A human rights organization estimates that 50,000 to 60,000 civilians have been killed in the above mentioned conflicts.

Post-colonial governance institutions in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have been shaped by their domestic and external contexts and circumstances. Among the constituent factors, four seem critical: these include the nature of the colonial experience initially helped to shape governance structures, other elements have become important since the attainment of independence. The degree of success in aligning and reconciling interests among various elites and the predispositions, orientations and leadership strategies employed by the leaders have elicited domestic and external responses that have not always ensured peace and advanced development.

 

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

 

The study considered the, liberal peace theory. Indeed, in an attempt to construct zones of stable peace (Boulding 1978), both the theory and practice of peace operations are informed by an often unspoken commitment to the liberal peace (Roland 1997, 2002, 2004).At the interstate level, liberal peace is based on the observation that democratic states do not wage war on other states they regard as being democratic. This is not to argue that democracies do not wage war at all or that they are less warlike in their relations with non- democracies; only that democracies tend not to fight each other. In addition, liberal democracies are said to be the least likely states to descend into civil war or anarchy. Exponents of this theory generally present reasons to explain that might be. First, through their legislatures and judiciaries, democratic systems impose powerful institutional constraints on decision-makers, inhibiting their opportunities for waging war rashly. These inhibitions are further strengthened by the plethora of regional institutions (such as the ECOWAS) to which liberal democratic states are tied. Democracy prevents civil war primarily because it guarantees basic human rights and offers non-violent avenues for the resolution of political disputes. The second explanation of liberal peace is normative and holds that democratic states do not fight each other because they recognize one another’s inherent legitimacy (ibid) and have shared interest in the protection of international trade which is ill-served by war. Within states, the legitimacy associated with democracy makes it very difficult to mobilize arms against the prevailing order, reducing the likelihood of civil wars. In arguing that peace operations are informed by liberal peace theory, we mean by and large that peace operations have tried to create stable peace by promoting and defending the principles that underpin liberal peace. This is most apparent in those peace operations that seek to build peace within states which are increasingly becoming the norm. These operations try to build stable peace by enabling the creation of democratic societies and liberal free market economies. They are often supported in this endeavour by Western NGOs (Richmond 2003:1). There is also, however, a broad consensus that fostering Liberal peace can contribute to reducing violent conflicts between states.

Liberal peace is one of the dominant theories that underpin contemporary peace operations, its application remains controversial. China and many states in the global South, for example, argue that peace operations should be limited to assisting states and other actors to resolve their differences and should not be used to impose a particular ideology (Morphet 2002). From this perspective, stable peace can only be built on the maintenance of peace between states and this requires respect for the sanctity of national sovereignty. Because of these concerns, overt support from the UN for a broad liberal agenda in its peace operations has been limited to one of three situations. In 1997 it likewise found that the overthrow of the elected government of Sierra Leone was a threat to peace, demanded that it be restored, and welcomed an ECOWAS intervention that did just that. Finally the UN and other actors have sometimes attempted to create liberal peace in places where the state has failed to exert effective authority, such as Bosnia after 1995 and Kosovo and Timor-Leste after 1999. There are other problems with the logic of liberal peace besides these political problems. Roland Paris (2004) found that the rapid democratization and marketization of post–war societies could have destabilizing effects and undermine the chances of long-term stable peace. Others deny liberal peacekeeping basic empirical assumption by pointing to wars between or within democracies or arguing that the data set remains too small to draw statically relevant conclusions. Echoing realist sentiments expressed by E.H Carr (1939] 1995) in the late 1930s, a third group of critics argue that the values underpinning liberal peace are not universal or causally connected to peace but reflect the ideological preferences of the world’s most powerful actors.

 

NIGERIA’S PARTICIPATION IN PEACEKEEPING IN CONGO

 

Nigeria gained its independence on October 1, 1960 and joined the United Nations on October 7, 1960. Within this period Congo (now Zaira) was in crisis. Congo was a former Belgium colony and became independent on June 30, 1960 five days later, the Force Publique mutinied against their Belgian officers and Belgium sent her troops to the Congo on the pretext of protecting and evaluating Europeans in the African state. On 14 July, the UN Security Council called on Belgium to withdraw her troops from Congo and also authorized the UN secretary General to provide the government of Congo with necessary military assistance and support until the country’s security forces could meet their task fully.

The UN called on Nigeria to help by contributing troops even before her independence. By the end of November, 1,350 Nigerian soldiers were in Congo. For 4 years (1960- 1964), Nigerian soldiers who served in some of the most difficult areas strived along with other UN forces to execute their assignment which included:

 

i.          Assisting the Congolese government to restore and maintain the political independence and territorial integrity of the Congo

ii.         Assisting the Congolese government maintain law and order in the country

iii.         Putting into effect a wide and long term programme of training and technical assistance. The UN forces brought peace and security back to the Congo to the extent that the parliament reconvened in years of dedicated efforts in the service of mankind in search of international peace and security. As (1986) has noted, while in the Congo, the Nigerian troops were commended for their courage and gallantry. The United Nations decorated Major Adekunle Fajuyi for setting a good example of courage and gallantry, and for displaying high sense of leadership responsibility, military skills and ability.

 

The troops brought Nigeria great honour and pride as a result of their wonderful performance. Ironsi was appointed the Commander of the UN force in Congo in 1964. Nigerian contingents were also sent to Tanganyinka (now Tanzania) in 1964 under the auspices of the organization for Africa Unity (OAU) now African Union (AU).

Nigeria’s participation in peacekeeping operation at this infant stage of her independence could be attributed to its bid to make her a force to be reckoned with in the region and internationally. However, this initiative has generated a lot of criticisms and controversies at the time even though it laid a solid foundation that all successive governments could build on. Nigeria’s Armed Forces had continued to play a major role in the achievement of the national security and foreign policy objectives. Apart from being the most populous and leading black nation in the world, Nigeria is blessed with great human and natural resources. The UN has indeed relied so much on Nigeria through the use of her military as peacekeepers in the organization’s quest for global peace and security. However, Nigeria’s participation in international peacekeeping has not been without challenges.

 

CHALLENGES OF NIGERIA’S PARTICIPATION IN PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS

 

UN, AU and ECOWAS platforms has brought out some lapses and challenges. Notably among them are: manpower, training and doctrine, logistics, mandate, administration, inadequate information management, language barrier and funding among others.

 

MANPOWER: The challenge of manpower especially in the Nigerian Army has become conspicuous in recent times. This is worsened by the current security challenges (terrorism) facing this country resulting in most troops being deployed on internal security operations within the country. Troops had to be drawn from different units across the country to form up a complete battalion with the required strength that meets the UN standards for deployment to the mission area. These individuals were deployed without pre-Induction training. Obviously personnel of such adhoc units that are filled at the last minute for a peacekeeping arrive in the mission area without adequate knowledge of each other’s capabilities and deficiencies. This also creates problem of command and control. Standardization of National News Agency NNA units in terms of manpower would be a positive step towards equipping the News Agency for effective participation in peacekeeping. This could be achieved if all postings and marrying up of units for peacekeeping are concluded 6 months prior to deployment. This would also ensure cohesion among the units’ personnel thus promoting spirit de corps (Ahmed, 2010)

 

TRAINING AND DOCTRINE: Another major problem identified is that of training and doctrine associated with peacekeeping. Different countries have different training doctrines for the training of its personnel. The NA is faced with the problem off training doctrine for peacekeeping. This problem had manifested itself in various operations. In the case of ECOMOG, Anglophone oriented troops were operating alongside francophone troops which further compounded this problem. The armed forces of Nigeria should come up with a suitable doctrine for peacekeeping. This would impact on all aspects (organization, training, leader development, material, and selection of soldiers) of the Armed Forces of Nigeria preparations for and conducting peace support operations.

 

LOGISTICS: Logistic problems are another set of hindrance impacting on Nigeria’s participation in Peacekeeping. In the face of non-availability of centralized logistical support for ECOWAS sub Regional peacekeeping, participating countries suffered shortfalls in lift and other logistical Capabilities. As a result most of them relied on Nigeria which was itself logistically hard pressed. There is the need to have adequate logistical support before embarking on peacekeeping operations. The nature of logistical challenges faced by Nigerian troops deployed on peacekeeping has included:  lack of sufficient quantity of vehicles, lack of adequate medical facilities, insufficient communication equipment and individual soldier kitting” The successful accomplishment of the tasks of Nigerian contingents depends to a large extent on the availability of reliable and efficient communication support. Communication is the vital tool required to exercise command and control of the forces deployed in the mission area. Problem of communication has included such relatively low cost and mundane items as inadequate supply of batteries and lack of battery chargers. This adversely affects command and control of units. This problem was also common with the Nigerian contingent deployed with UNMIL. It is necessary to increase the scale of equipment of the signal element supporting a Nigerian battalion in peacekeeping to meet the UN’s requirements for battalion level communications as outlined in the standard UN Memorandum of  Understanding that the UN executes with the troop contributing country.

 

MANDATE: Mandates are resolutions authorizing and defining a peacekeeping operation. Peacekeeping should endeavor to have a clear and unambiguous mandate including rules of engagement for the forces. The problem of vague, unclear unrealistic and frequently changing mandates was encountered during the Nigerian maiden peacekeeping venture in the Congo in the 1960s. The same problem of an unclear mandate arose in Chad where the OAU peacekeepers watched helplessly while rebel groups chased away the incumbent government of President Goukoni Waddeye from office.  The ECOMOG operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone 1990-1999 did see a needed change in mandate that enabled appropriate force application. 

 

LANGUAGE BARRIER: Language barrier is another major problem posed to NA personnel in Peacekeeping for instance, in Chad (1979-1980 and 1982-1983) there was language barrier and the Nigerian military had to get interpreters in order to communicate with the host nation and Peacekeepers from non-English speaking countries. This same problem exists today in Dafur   (UNAMID) AND Mali (AFISMA), though at a lower level as some NA personnel had to learn French and Arabic. Nigeria therefore needs to encourage more of its personnel to learn French, Portuguese, Spanish and Arabic. Nigeria therefore needs to encourage more of its personnel to learn French, Portuguese, Spanish and Arabic etc.

 

FUNDING: Nigeria suffered financially during the first intervention in Liberia in 1990. It was always in search of financial support from other ECOWAS members for the mission. Nigeria established an “endowment fund” for the operation with an initial amount of 50 million dollars being proposed. This fund received no contributions. Generally, assistance from other sources was slow in coming. Eventually, ECOWAS member state that contributed troops threatened to withdraw from the force from lack of funding, this situation caused Nigeria to single-handedly provide substantial financial support for further ECOMOG operations. This sinking of substantial financial resources to restore peace in other countries while Nigeria’s social and physical infrastructure was sorely in need of repair was difficult to rationalize with the public at large. Most Nigerians feel the billions of dollars spent for peacekeeping could have been better used to reduce Nigerian’s foreign debt or better still, to alleviate poverty in the country where 70 percent of the populace survives on less than 1 US Dollar per day (Olofinmuagan 1995). Use of substantial sums of money to pay for PSOs also helps to explain negative responses from Nigeria’s creditors when mention is made of possible debt forgiveness. Any major future involvement by Nigeria in peacekeeping would certainly be predicated on a firm commitment of financial support from either the UN or other international organizations (Oni, 2002)

 

ADMINISTRATION: Nigeria’s participation in peacekeeping also surfaced problems in the areas of administration like medical care, medical evacuation, burial pay and allowance, misappropriation by selling of troops’ raw food and units’ fuel. Soldiers in deployed units also complained of lack of promotion opportunities and such things as not being able to observe holidays. These shortcomings were largely attributed to poor unit and sub-unit leadership. The poor quality of administration in deployed units has caused significant embarrassment to the Nigerian Army and the country in general. Commanders and troops must be adequately apprised of the danger of such practices like illegally selling items in the mission area. The Nigerian government and military need to look into all areas of administrative support for deployed units.

 

 

CONCLUSION:

 

Since the attainment of her independence in 1960, Nigeria has remained an active participant to both regional and UN peacekeeping operations. The country has contributed a lot in terms of finance, logistics, troops and civilian experts. Today, Nigeria remains one of the largest African troops and civilian police contributors to UN missions.

            Despite its achievements, Nigeria has been under-appreciated prompting this article to revisit the issue of peacekeeping operations in order to give Nigeria its right of place in conflict management. Any serious assessment of Nigeria’s participation in the peacekeeping operation will reveal that the country is yet to reap the benefit of her contributions due to some problems. Such as the lack of effective organization to coordinate peacekeeping operations, prevent improper accounting and make effective use of reimbursements. Until these issues are properly addressed, Nigerian peacekeepers will continue to suffer.

Besides, Nigeria is yet to optimize its longstanding participation in peacekeeping internationally due to lack of policy and institutional coherence at political strategies and to some extent, operations levels.

Finally, it has been noted that Nigeria has utilized international peacekeeping operation as a foreign policy tool which has not yielded commensurate benefit to her.

 

 

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Cite this Article: Ogunsola, AO; Adisa, OP (2020). A Study of Nigeria in Congo International Peace Keeping Operation. Greener Journal of Social Sciences, 10(1): 09-16.