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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Nigerian Army General appointed to United Nations role

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It was a groundbreaking moment for Nigeria and the African continent when Brigadier General Gabriel Olufemi Esho made history as he was officially appointed as the Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

This prestigious position not only marks a personal achievement for Brigadier General Esho but also signifies a significant milestone for Nigeria, as he becomes the first Nigerian to hold such a position within MINURSO.


In a colorful ceremony, Brigadier General Esho took over from Commodore Faustina Boakyewwa Anokye from the Ghana Navy.

Brigadier General Esho hails from Ondo State in western Nigeria. From a young age, he showed great determination and an unwavering commitment to serving others, which led him to pursue a career in the military.

After graduating from the prestigious Nigerian Defence Academy as a member of the 46th Regular Course with a bachelors degree in Mathematics and a masters degree in Strategic Studies, his dedication and exceptional leadership qualities quickly garnered attention.


Throughout his career, Brigadier General Esho displayed fierceness, resilience, and a remarkable grasp of strategic military operations.

His ability to think on his feet and a deep understanding of complex regional dynamics made him a natural choice for various peacekeeping missions across Africa.

His stellar track record soon captured the attention of the United Nations, which recognized his incredible potential and appointed him to MINURSO.

MINURSO was established by the UN Security Council in 1991 with the primary objective of overseeing the referendum on self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.


The mission has long been regarded as one of the most challenging, yet crucial, peacekeeping operations in the world.

Brigadier General Esho’s appointment as Deputy Force Commander not only recognises his exceptional military skills but also highlights the UN’s commitment to diversifying its peacekeeping forces.

As Brig Gen Esho assumes his role, his priority will be to strengthen the mission’s mandate and ensure the safety and well-being of the local population in Western Sahara.

His vision for MINURSO includes actively engaging with the Sahrawi people, fostering dialogue, and promoting trust within the communities. Brig Gen Esho firmly believes that sustainable peace can only be achieved through understanding and collaboration.

Reflecting on his accomplishment, Brigadier General Esho expressed deep gratitude for the support he has received.

He emphasized the importance of diversity within global peacekeeping missions, stating that representation is essential for meaningful and lasting change.

Undoubtedly, his appointment will serve as an inspiration to aspiring Nigerian military personnel and young individuals across Africa.

As the first Nigerian to stand tall in the role of Deputy Force Commander in MINURSO, Brigadier General Esho is undeniably a trailblazer. His appointment not only embodies Nigeria’s commitment to global peace and security but also paves the way for a more inclusive and representative future for peacekeeping missions worldwide.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Army arrests soldiers filmed assaulting civilian

With Brigadier General Esho at the helm, MINURSO will undoubtedly see a renewed spirit and an empowered force working towards peace and reconciliation in Western Sahara.

The highlight of the event was the transfer of baton/handing over between the outgoing and in-coming DFC which was witnessed by the Head of Mission and Special Representative of the Secretary-General Mr Alexander Ivanko, Force Commander Maj Gen MD Fakhrul Ahsan and other top management staff of the Mission as well as military observers and civilian staff.



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