29 July, 2008

Nigerian Army General becomes UN peacekeeping adviser

New York, UN - Nigeria's Lt.-Gen. Chikadibia Obiakor, the newly-appointed peacekeeping adviser to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon assumed duty at the UN headquarters here, PANA reported Sunday.He is the first military adviser at the world body and will hold the position of Assistant Secretary-General."Obiakor, 57, will advise on military affairs for the 110,000-strong UN peacekee ping force following a 35-year career in the Nigerian armed forces, where he earned the rank of three-star general,''a UN statement said at the weekend.It stated that he served as the top commander for the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the artillery brigade for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Monitoring Group, where he coordinated border patrols in the region.The statement quoted General Obiakor as saying that his command strategy included prompt action and strict discipline in mitigating conflicts."I believe in the deterrence value, because if you don't deal with the matter, the tendency is that somebody else will attempt it," it quoted Obiakor as saying.The Nigerian general had also presided over the deployment of the first UN all-f emale police force in Liberia while serving at UNMIL.Obiakor began his career with the Nigerian Army in 1973, rising up the ranks to become a three-star general in December 2005.The uniformed personnel that serve in UN peacekeeping operations hail from 119 different countries, an all-time record.Nigeria is the fourth largest contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping operations around the world. New York - 28/07/2008

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