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This research was carried out to compare Nigerian Armed Forces participation in United Nations Operations and its prospects for job secondment. The study was geared at determining 4 distinct objectives. These were to confirm if there was a relationship between Nigerian Military involvement in Peace Support Operations and jobs in the UN. Thereafter, Nigerian military personnel performance in UN PSO was considered. It also considered the challenges for UN jobs. Finally, strategies were proffered for enhancing the capacity of members of the Nigerian the capacity of members of the Nigerian Armed Forces for Jobs in the UN. The descriptive analytical method was used for this study. The research dwelt on the area of study based upon the involvement of the Nigerian Armed Forces in PSO. It further identified the prospects of Nigerian Armed Forces in secondment for UN jobs. Furthermore, it revealed the commendation participation of Nigeria in most peace support operations under the UN. To this end, MOD/AHQ should publish vacancies for UN jobs. Also, the MOD was implored to set up a committee to address the problem appointment and selection for secondment. Furthermore, the imperative of making the MOD/AHQ request for vacancies from the UN for job secondment for its personnel was considered. Finally, the study highlighted the need for the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping centre to include civil participation international relations and diplomacy in its curriculum
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The civilization of man has evolved through conflicts, wars and strives. Some of these conflicts have claimed a lot of lives and caused the destruction of properties leaving behind displacement of people and a life of uncertainty. This has cost humanity greatly in the areas of the economic, environmental, social, and military development, (Yusuf 2008:2). As a result of this, man has found it necessary to put in place mechanisms by which these conflicts and wars can be prevented, managed or resolved. Hence, the establishment of international and regional bodies and organizations whose primary aim is to check and curb such occurrences of an evolving or imminent war.
The League of Nations was established by the end of the First World War (WWI), in 1919. The primary aim of establishment was to maintain peace, stability and international security. It however failed for many reasons which include the German invasion of her neighbouring countries in 1936, (Gaje 2006:1). This eventually led to the World War II (WWII). In further quest to establish a lasting peace and global security, some of the major powers which were involved in WWII established the United Nations (UN). The UN was thus established on the 24 October, 1945. Its primary aim was to prevent wars and to enhance world-wide development, (Sheikh 2003:594-595).
The bid to save humanity from the scourges of war and create a peaceful and just future for the entire world, strategies and policies were made by the UN in the sphere of global administration. The UN Charter therefore stipulates amongst others, the sovereign equality of all nations, and peaceful settlement of disputes and the renunciation of the threat of force, (Alger 1998:56). The Charter made provision for the non intervention in the internal affairs of member nations and the taking of effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to peace. It further allows the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of peace, (UN 1993:1).
As part of the mechanisms put in place for a sustainable peace in the global setting, the UN has embarked upon PSO. This is only an endpoint of early preventive measures which when put in place could fail. It includes preventive diplomacy. The term PSO was first used by the military to describe organised international assistance initiatives to support the maintenance, monitoring and building of peace and prevention of resurgent violent conflict. There are two categories of PSOs which includes peacekeeping and peace enforcement. Peacekeeping operations monitor and support the establishment of peace, usually in the context of a peace agreement and peace enforcement operations, (Johnson http://www.huntalternatives.
The activities of PSO which could involve combat and the use of force therefore creates the need for the military in this respect. Therefore the involvement of the military in PSO has been at the establishment of the UN itself as most of the conflicts in the world have been armed conflicts, (Warfare Publication 2nd Edition:1-3). Over the years especially at the beginning of the 21st Century, military involvement in peace effort has been redefined. This is as stated in Chapters VI and VII of the UN Charter. It encapsulates the holistic term called PSO which entails not only peacekeeping and peace enforcement but also peace building and peacemaking.
So far, the involvement of the members of the Nigerian Armed Forces in PSO and the UN intervention in various conflicts in the world has been quite remarkable. This has involved the use of military personnel from all contributing members of the UN. Nigeria is a major TCC to the UN since inception of PSO. Nigeria since her independence has also been an active participant of most military expeditions in PSO for the UN, (Dokubu 2005:252). Successive governments have remained committed to Nigeria’s peacekeeping efforts. Nigeria has continued to increase its participation in PSO in human and material resources contribution in line with increase in conflict all over the world. This has cost the nation a lot in training and maintaining its personnel to meet the challenges of PSO especially in the current dispensation. This has necessitated the establishment of the Peacekeeping Wing of the Infantry Centre and School, Jaji, Nigeria.
The training of personnel and the involvement of members of the armed forces in PSO creates a platform and advantage for the members in many ways. One of advantages such is the building of the average military personnel not only in international relations but also in international conflict management. This creates the prospect for the members of the Nigerian armed forces secondment for jobs in the UN. This is evident in some notable appointments of Nigerian military personnel who have at one time or the other been absolved by the UN to carry out some official roles as a result of their involvement in previous PSOs. The middle cadre officers, despite experience gained from participation in UN PSO are not being seconded to the UN.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The Nigerian military over the years have participated in various PSOs around the world. In spite of the long history of the military’s involvement in PSO, there have been a lot of challenges which has prevented the average Nigerian military personnel to have a high standing in its secondment for jobs in the UN.
It is therefore against this backdrop that this study seeds to answer the following questions:
a. Is there a relationship between involvement of members of the armed forces in PSOs and jobs in the UN?
b. How is the performance of Nigerian military personnel in UN PSOs?
c. What are the challenges constraining Nigerian Armed Forces in securing secondment for UN jobs?
d. What are the strategies for enhancing the capacity of the members of the Nigerian Armed Forces for jobs in the UN?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to evaluate the involvement of members of the Nigerian Armed Forces in PSO as a secondment for UN jobs. The specific objectives are to:
a. Examine the relationship between the military involvement in PSOs and jobs in the UN.
b. Examine the performance of Nigeria military personnel in UN PSOs.
c. Identify the challenges confronting Nigerian Armed Forces in securing secondment for jobs in the UN.
d. Proffer strategies for the enhancement of the capacity of members of Nigerian armed forces for jobs in the UN.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The importance of this study is appreciable in the fact that the role of the Nigerian armed forces in PSO has been quite remarkable. Hence, the need for government to see it as advantage for military personnel secondment for jobs in the UN.
This study will also assist the Ministry of Defence as well as individual members of armed forces to focus and realize its role and capacity in PSO as well as the advantage of secondment in the UN. It will also contribute to the existing body of knowledge especially on the involvement of the military in PSOs. It will finally be a reference material to researchers, commanders and staff officers involved in PSOs.
The study covered the period of 1978 to 2010. This marked the period when the Nigerian Armed Forces started significant participation in PSOs in the United Nations with the United Nations Interim Forces Lebanon (UNIFIL). The study utilized the UN, OAU/AU and ECOWAS PSOs as case studies to evaluate the level of training of the Nigerian Armed Forces for PSOs
This study was impaired by the dearth of sufficient literature on the concept of job secondment in the military. However, this limitation was mitigated by resorting to manuals questionnaires and interviews conducted with some former participants of PSOs in the Nigerian Armed Forces. This therefore created a leverage for the validity of the study.
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