Nigerian Soldiers Stranded In Sudan
Nigerian Troops Stranded In Nyala, Sudan After The Expiration of Their 6 Months Tour of Duty - We are four Nigerian Battalions (NIBATTS 30, 31, 32 and 33) on duty in Nyala, Sudan from 26 November, 2011 - 2 January, 2012 but now stranded after we are due for rotation. Our expected period of rotation to Nigeria is 26 May - 3 July, 2012 for the four battalions; up till the time of this report, we have not been rotated. This situation is very depressing and is dangerously affecting us and our loved ones back home.
NIBATT 31 was supposed to be rotated back to Nigeria between 31 May - 7 June, 2012. Out of the 800 troops that made up the battalion, only 115 were airlifted to Nigeria on 31 May; the remaining troops are still stranded in Sudan. They have added extra weeks to their official date of departure as well as NIBATT 30 which was supposed to be rotated back home on 26 May.
This situation is due to either negligence on the part of the Nigerian government or the Army in taking up their responsibilities abroad with respect to their men and women on tour of duty.
As I write, Nigerian Army Peace Keeping Center (NAPKC) in Jaji is full of troops of the four Battalions that underwent training to rotate the stranded 4 Battalions here in Sudan. Also the FOB in Abuja where troops normally spend the night before they are airlifted to Sudan is filled up with troops awaiting airlift to Sudan. Sudan as we all know is a very hostile and a desert country with hash weather that makes living very unbearable. It is unwise for Nigeria to leave us to stay extra days, weeks or months in Sudan after the expiration of our tour of duty.
Other Contingents like Thailand, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, Nepal, Egypt and South Africa have all rotated their troops with chartered planes with passenger seats of about 220. Nigerian Army is waiting for United Nations to organize their rotation for them with a plane carrying only 115 passengers, making us to rotate a battalion seven (7) times x 4.
I appeal to Nigerians to use their good offices in telling Mr. President, Senate President, Minister of Defense, Chief of Defense Staff and Chief of Army Staff as a matter of urgency to bring planes (bigger ones) to rotate the four Battalions in Sudan not later than 3 July or else we will create a scenario in Sudan which will deter the on-going peace process in Darfur. 3rd July is our ultimatum. Please publish this to the readership of those in Aso Rock. They are all sitting down in Nigeria eating from our sweat which a battalion generates a month ($700,000:00) for then in the UN.
We look forward to seeing this news publish today or tomorrow in the various dallies. Thank you and God bless.
Concern Soldiers in Darfur, Sudan.