UN Envoy lauds Nigeria for enhancing women’s role in peacekeeping missions

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The head of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Ellen Margrethe Løj, has applauded the commitment of Nigeria to involve more women in peacekeeping, saying it is an “important contribution to ensure better results on the ground, in fulfillment of Security Council Resolution 1325 on women and security.” She made the remarks at a colourful ceremony in Liberia’s central city of Gbarnga at which she decorated 120 members of the Nigerian Formed Police Unit (FPU) with United Nations Peacekeeping Medals for their dedicated service to UNMIL.

“The participation of women in FPUs enhances our overall access to vulnerable populations, and sends a message to Liberians that women officers can have any position and play any role in a police organization,” Ms. Løj noted. She expressed the hope that the participation of more Nigerian women in the UN’s work in Liberia would motivate Liberian women to join the security sector and thereby rebuild the trust of ordinary Liberians in law enforcement agencies.

Commenting on the recent establishment of two units of an all-female FPU in Nigeria, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) said the steps taken by Nigeria would ensure effective participation of women in peacekeeping. SRSG Løj commended Nigeria’s commitment to the reconstruction of post-conflict countries, noting that Nigeria had earned itself the honour of helping to stabilize and improve peace-building activities in the West African sub-region. “This dedication to global peacekeeping truly deserves the deepest respect from all of us,” she added.

Turning to the Nigerian Formed Police Unit officers, Ms. Løj praised them for contributing to the restoration and maintenance of the rule of law in Liberia by “building the capacity of their Liberian counterparts, and employing innovative tactical interventions to control incidents of civil disorder.” She also acknowledged the humanitarian services the Nigerian police officers had rendered to local communities. ?All these efforts are contributing to creating a safe and peaceful environment where Liberians can move ahead on their road to achieving sustainable development,? she noted.

Dignitaries present at the ceremony included Deputy SRSG for Rule of Law, Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu; Nigerian Ambassador in Liberia, Ebenezer Adigun; UNPOL Commissioner Gautam Sawang; Liberia’s Inspector-General of Police, Marc Amblard; Deputy UNMIL Force Commander, Maj.-Gen. Carl Modey; Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Maj.-Gen. Surraj Abdulrahman; UNMIL Military Chief of Staff, Brig.-Gen. Raphael Isa, Director of Mission Support, Hubert Price; Sector “A’ Commander, Brig.-Gen. Ebiobowei Awal; Sector “B’ Commander, Brig.-Gen. Muhammad Mujibur Rahman; Nigerian FPU Commander, Adikwu Jacob; and UNPOL Chief of Staff, Regina Bempah-Sarkodie. Others were visiting Assistant Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police Force, Ivy Uche Okoronkwo; and Bong County Superintendent, Ranney Jackson.

Source: United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)

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