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NIGERIAN ARMY AND THE FUTURE OF PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS IN THE 21ST CENTURY: UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS (UNPKO) AND NIGERIAN ARMY IN PERSPECTIVE
In the last five and a half decades, Nigerian army had participated in not less than 48 peacekeeping operations around the world. Nigerian army answered several called from the UN for the purpose of promoting global peace and security in and out of Africa. The first mission of peacekeeping that Nigerian army was involves was the Congo mission of the 1960s. The outing of the Nigerian army in that Congo mission and other subsequent missions were highly impressive. However, in the 21st century as things took their new shape as a result of many factors, the new millennium proves very difficult for troop contributing countries in the politics of peacekeeping operations. This study examined the multiple challenges inherent in the new millennium with regards to peacekeeping and advised Nigerian government on the way forward. This study gathered relevant data through unstructured interview from fifteen (15) respondents. Our respondents voluntarily answered the interview; all our respondents are professionals in their various disciplines. The identity of all respondent was not disclosed throughout the work for security and other related reasons. The study reveals that the 21st century peacekeeping operation appears very complex and expensive. Similarly, Nigeria and the Nigerian army are found to encounter several internal and external challenges in the contemporary world. However, Nigeria cannot fall her arms and allow things fall apart. Therefore, the study pointed out some relevant strategies the Nigerian government can adopt to enhance her chances of benefiting from peacekeeping involvement especially in the new millennium.
Keywords: United Nations, Peacekeeping Operations, New Millennium, 21st Century, Strategies, Nigerian Army.