“Nigeria’s experience in Sierra Leone and Liberia has taught us a lot about the challenges of regional peacekeeping; principally in financing, equipping and mission support arrangements.” These were the words of Prof. Tijani Bande, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United Nations at the headquarters in New York.
The meeting called for AU peace operations at the Security Council open debate on “Peace and Security in Africa; strengthening peacekeeping operations in Africa”.
Bande said the root causes of conflicts in Africa were multifaceted, adding that a comprehensive approach is required for their resolution. According to him, the demands placed on the AU in regional peacekeeping far outweigh its resources and capacities to effectively respond.
“The consequences of ineffective response would include mission failure, increased instability, and a reluctance among potential partners to contribute to what is perceived to be a failing system, among others.
“Therefore, we must use our political authority to ensure that, where regional capacities exist, appropriate support follows.
“Without a truly strategic partnership, the enormous investments in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace building will continue to be arbitrary and not achieve the desired end,” he said.
Bande noted that financing AU peacekeeping operations remained a daunting challenge, noting the several reports on the matter, saying it is imperative that the Council endorses a financing option that guarantees predictability, sustainability and flexibility. He also spoke on the importance of recognizing the role women play in conflict resolution and creating a safe community, particularly in addressing gender-based issues in the various missions.
Bande said concerning those who abused the people they were meant to protect calling it “an abhorrent practice” and that the Nigerian government strongly condemns it.
He said Nigeria was urging the Secretary-General, Antonio Guiterreswith the support of all member states, to continue to intensify efforts to find sustainable funding for peacekeeping Missions in Africa.
According to him, it is only by acting together that we can demonstrate the shared responsibility of the international community for the maintenance of peace and security.Nigeria paid tribute to all those who had made the supreme sacrifice in serving as blue helmets around the world, and also offered its deepest condolences to their families, friends and governments.
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