October 14, 2009 (WASHINGTON) — Nigeria is mulling pulling its troops deployed in Sudan’s Western region of Darfur according to one of its officials.
- A Nigerian peacekeeping soldier from the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) jumps from a vehicle while on patrol in Osha IDP’s camp in Nyla, southern Darfur (Reuters)
Wole Oke, the Nigerian chairman for the House of Representatives Committee on Defence said that his country feels “unappreciated” despite its contributions worldwide, ‘Thisday’ website quoted him.
He was responding to questions on why Nigerian president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua skipped the UN General Assembly meetings held last month in New York.
Oke told reporters that his absence was a “deliberate diplomatic protest against the United States of America, whose body language towards Nigeria in recent times had been seen by the Federal Government as unfair”.
The Nigerian official said that US president Barack Obama’s decision not to visit the country during his African tours as well as tough words head from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on corruption added to Abuja’s growing discontent.
As a result, Oke said that as a result Nigeria had no interest in keeping troops in Darfur as long as its role is not appreciated by US and world powers.
He also said that Nigeria is angered that it has not been offered the position of the post of the commander of the African Union-United Nations Mission on Darfur (UNAMID).
UNAMID was previously headed by Nigerian General Martin Agwai and was succeeded by Rwandan Lieutenant General Patrick Nyamvumba.
Nigerian troops along with Rwandans’ comprise the majority of the UNAMID force.