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Nigeria to deploy troops in Cote d'Ivoire, Congo, Somalia


LAGOS, Feb. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Nigeria is to send troops to three troubled African countries -- Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia, the official News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported Friday.

NAN quoted Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo as saying that the role of the military should not necessarily be that of waging wars, but maintaining peace globally like what happened in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

"We may have to send troops to these countries in addition to what we have in other African countries and the Middle East. I believe that our soldiers are equal to the task," Obasanjo said on Thursday at the closing ceremony of the Nigerian Army training at the army training center in Nigeria's northwestern state of Niger.

Obasanjo charged the soldiers to be ready for non-war operations which would involve making and keeping peace, saying that the military training should focus on world peace. Obasanjo, who is also current chairman of the African Union, promised that the training center which was abandoned for a long time would be equipped to ensure professionalism in the Nigerian Army.

He said that in democracy the function of the military was to ensure defense and security as well as to make and keep peace in conflict areas. The Nigerian troops have played an important role in peacekeeping mission in Liberia, Sierra Leone and in the Middle East. Enditem

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