The Nigeria Police first participated in Peacekeeping in 1960 with the deployment of personnel to Congo and ever since the list of countries with our peacekeepers is now endless. Our peacekeepers have participated in operations in Congo, Namibia, Angola, Western Sahara, Cambodia, Mozambique, Somalia, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, East Timor, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Afghanistan, Cote D’Ivoire, Burundi, Haiti, Sudan, South Sudan and Guinea Bissau to mention but a few.
ESTABLISHMENT OF PEACEKEEPING OFFICE
The Peacekeeping office of the Nigeria Police was established in 2005 with clear vision and mission statement hereunder.
VISION: Research, Train and Deploy for Global peace support operation
MISSION: To equip personnel with requisite skills and competencies required to meet complex peace support operations environment through the delivery of quality internationally recognized and professional training.
ACTIVITIES OF THE DIRECTORATE OF PEACEKEEPING
- Recruitment/selection of police officers and men fit for UN/AU/ECOWAS peace support operations
- Training of officers to be deployed as United Nations Police officers (UNPOLs) comprising of Formed Police Units (FPUs) and Individual Police Officers (IPOs).
- Deployment/Rotation of Police officers to various missions areas across the globe.
- Serve as liaison between United Nations Department of peacekeeping operations (UNDPKO)/African Union Peace Support Operations Department (AUPSOD) / ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) and the Nigeria Police
- Give appropriate advice to the Inspector-General of Police on matters related to UN/AU/ECOWAS Peace support operations.
- Monitoring of activities of Nigeria Police officers in Mission areas through daily situation reports from contingents.
- Liaise with Nigerian immigration, UNDP office and DHL on travel issues and air freighting of contingents belongings.
However, over the last 50 years, the Nigeria Police has committed more men and materials towards keeping the peace in Africa and elsewhere than any other on the continent. The Nigeria Police have deployed over Twelve (12) thousand personnel to various UN/AU and ECOWAS peace support operations.
It may interest readers to know that in the year 1960 the Nigeria police deployed the first ever contingent of Individual police officers (IPOs) to UN mission in the Congo led by ACP Louis Edet while the pioneer Formed Police Unit (FPU) of 120 officers and men was deployed to Liberia in the year 2004 under the command of SP Sikiru Akande.
ACHIEVEMENTS IN TERMS OF CONTRIBUTION TO HOST COUNTRIES
The following are achievements of Nigeria Police in the area of peacekeeping:
- While on International assignment the Nigeria Police engaged in Capacity building for the host country police (Local police).
- Helped the host countries in the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.
- The Nigeria Police officers also assist the host countries in Reforming and Restructuring of the local police.
- Nigerian Peacekeepers helped in the Disarmament, Demobilization (DDR), and Re-integration processes in the host countries.
ACHIEVEMENT IN TERMS OF BENEFIT TO THE NIGERIA POLICE
- The leadership role of Nigeria Police as leading police contributor in global peacekeeping has led to her participating in United Nations decision making process making her the only African country with a permanent Police representative in United Nations Headquarters in New York. In addition, machinery is in motion to replicate same at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.
- Our officers are further trained and exposed to International best practices by going through various UN trainings aimed at capacity building. Veterans who participated in peacekeeping return home as better polished and well informed officers who often share competencies on return.
- Over 12,000 veteran peacekeepers that were trained and deployed have been awarded UN letters of commendation and Medals for outstanding performances during their tour of duty including the most recent medals awarded to Nigerian contingent in Southern Sudan.
- Trainers from the Nigeria police have facilitated International Peacekeeping training at centres of excellence across the globe e.g The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) Accra-Ghana, Norway, Germany, China, Centre of Excellence for Stability police Units (CoESPU) Vicenza, Italy, India, Russia, the USA and Pearson Peacekeeping Center, Canada to mention but a few.