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UN Tells ICP Nigeria Is Pulling Back from Darfur, not Mali, But Ouattara Confirms

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 19 -- With UN Peacekeeping in increasingly disarray, Inner City Press on Thursday asked of reports that Nigeria would be pulling troops out of the mission in Mali, MINUSMA:

Inner City Press: its been reported that Nigeria is removing some or all of its troops from MINUSMA in Mali, to deal with problems at home. Since it is now a UN Mission, and the elections are coming up, is the UN system aware of that, and what will they do to make up for, I think there are 1,000 Nigerian troops in MINUSMA?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: Ill check with the Mission, but again, speaking generally, weve made it very clear that the Mission is in the process of building up. Troops from contributing countries are being deployed or re-hatted if they were part of the previous Mission, AFISMA. So, this is a process that is under way and is not yet completed. If I have anything further on that particular part that you have raised about Nigerian troops, then I will let you know.

  Twenty four hours later at the July 19 noon briefing, Nesirky returned and read out an answer: that Nigeria is pulling peacekeepers from the mission in Darfur (where seven Tanzanian peacekeeper were recently killed).

  Nesirky said that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has no information about any Nigerian pull back from the mission in Mali.

  This is more than a little strange, since ECOWAS' Alassane Ouattara, president of Cote d'Ivoire, confirmed Nigeria's pull back from Mali at the end of the 43rd Ordinary Session of ECOWAS in Abuja, saying, "I received a letter from President Goodluck Jonathan that because of domestic situation in Nigeria, Nigeria needs some of its people. He was speaking of Mali, not Darfur.

 So why hasn't DPKO under Herve Ladsous heard? Ladsous won't answer Press questions, video here. Watch this site.


 

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