The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) has saluted Nigeria for its contribution to African peace and unity at an official ceremony in Mogadishu to mark the country’s 63rd Independence Day anniversary.
At a special ceremony to mark the event at ATMIS Force headquarters, Force Commander Lt. Gen. Sam Okiding praised Nigeria for its ongoing peace support operations in Somalia, noting the West African country had worked for peace across the continent since gaining its freedom in 1960.
“Nigeria has made a lot of significant contributions towards the stability of Africa. During the apartheid regime, Nigeria contributed a lot towards the liberation of South Africa,” he declared.
The ceremony was also attended by Deputy Force Commander in charge of Support and Logistics Maj. Gen. Peter Kimani Muteti and ATMIS Police Commissioner Hillary Sao Kanu and other top military, police and civilian officials.
As a regional leader of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Lt. Gen. Okiding said, Nigeria “plays a leading role” in regional and continental peace and security efforts.
“Despite having its own fair share of political, social and economic challenges, Nigeria is today the largest economy and a key player of our continent Africa,” said Lt. Gen. Okiding.
The remarks were echoed by the ATMIS Police Commissioner, Hillary Sao Kanu who highlighted Nigeria’s contribution towards peace and security in African countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali and Sudan.
“I want to thank the Nigerian contingent for their tireless effort in implementing the ATMIS mandate to the Federal Government of Somalia and at the Federal Member States,” said the Police Commissioner.
Nigeria first deployed police personnel to serve in Somalia in 2010.The Nigerian Police personnel serve alongside their counterparts from Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Zambia.
The West African country has also deployed military officers serving as staff officers in various capacities at the ATMIS Force headquarters.
Nigeria gained its independence from Britain on 1 October 1960. Three years later, in 1963, the country was proclaimed a republic.
During the celebrations, Nigerian nationals serving in ATMIS showcased the culture and traditional foods of their country.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).