n African Renaissance - Peacekeeping as an effective foreign policy instrument : the Nigerian experience

Volume 8 Number 3-4
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


The foreign policy of any country is primarily concerned with promoting and protecting that country's national interest within the comity of nations. Since Nigeria became independent in 1960, one of her foreign policy objectives has been to advance her national interest of working with other nations towards the promotion of world peace. Accordingly, in furtherance of this foreign policy objective, her diplomats have participated in negotiating numerous multilateral agreements and exchanges geared towards promoting peace among nations, while her troops have been involved in peacekeeping operations in many countries. Most of these have been at the initiative of the United Nations (UN), but the country has also participated in a number of other operations under the auspices of the former Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and some bilateral arrangements. Out of the 62 peacekeeping missions the UN has mounted around the world since 1948, Nigeria participated in 26 from 1960 to 2009. In addition to these, Nigeria has also participated in 3 OAU/AU, 3 ECOWAS and 2 bilateral peace missions. To date, Nigeria has contributed over 130,000 troops and produced 18 Force Commanders (FC)/Chief Military Observers (CMO). Over the last 45 years, Nigeria has committed more men and materials towards keeping the peace in Africa and elsewhere, than any other country on the continent. As at September 2010, Nigeria was the fourth largest Troop Contributing Country (TCC) in the world after Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.

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