The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, on Tuesday, announced the appointment of Maj. General Benjamin Sawyerr of Nigeria as the Force Commander for the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
Sawyerr succeeds Major Gen. Kefyalew Amde Tessema of Ethiopia, to whom Guterres is grateful for his dedication, effective leadership and invaluable service during his appointment with UNISFA, NAN reports.
Abyei is an area of 10,546 km2 on the border between Sudan and South Sudan that had been accorded “special administrative status” by the 2004 Protocol on the Resolution of the Abyei Conflict (Abyei Protocol) in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the Second Sudanese Civil War.
Meanwhile, Sawyerr has a military career spanning more than 34 years with the Nigerian Army, including as the Director of Defence Information of Nigeria’s Defence Forces since 2021.
He previously served as Commandant of the Nigerian Army Armour School in Bauchi State, North-East Nigeria (2020-2021).
Sawyerr held the position of Brigade Commander twice in North-East Nigeria.
He was Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Battalion with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (2009-2010).
Sawyerr also served as the Director of Plans at the Nigerian Army Headquarters (2019-2020) and Deputy Director of Doctrine and Combat Development (2017-2018).
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Nigeria and a Masters in Defence and Strategic Studies from the University of Madras in India.