Saturday, September 25, 2021

Buhari mourns ex-MONUSCO commander Samaila Iliya

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Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the family of retired Maj. Gen. Samaila Iliya, a distinguished military officer who served the country meritoriously before retirement, joining the armed forces to mourn the loss.

The president, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Monday commiserated with friends and associates of the officer.

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Mr Buhari acknowledged that the deceased distinguished himself in various leadership roles in the army, including holding key positions in the Command and Staff College.

He noted with commendation, that Iliya also brought glory to the country in peace keeping missions in Rwanda, Lebanon, and was appointed Force Commander United Nations Organization Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo, MONUSCO.

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He also prayed that the almighty God would receive the soul of the departed, and comfort his family.

NAN reports that on Sept. 29, 2003, then Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint, as of Jan. 1, 2004, Maj.-Gen. Iliya of Nigeria as Force Commander of the MONUSCO.

Maj.-Gen. Iliya was born on Sept. 14, 1952, and graduated from the Nigerian Military School in 1970.

He was commissioned into the Infantry Corps in 1973 after completing his studies at the Nigerian Military Academy.

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He is also a graduate of the École supérieure de guerre interarmées in France, and participated in a number of military courses in the United States.

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Having risen through the ranks of the Nigerian Army from a company commander to the Army’s Chief of Administration, he has held key positions in Nigeria’s prestigious Command and Staff College, including Director of Staff, Chief Instructor and Director of Army Faculty.

He participated in the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Lebanon and Rwanda.

In Rwanda, he served as Chief Operations Officer for the observer group.

He also served as Chief Humanitarian Officer in Goma, where he worked with United Nations agencies and Non-Governmental Organizstions to address a major humanitarian crisis that was emerging.


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