Nigeria court-martial sentences 27 UN peacekeeping soldiers to life imprisonment

[JURIST] A court-martial in Nigeria [JURIST news archive] sentenced 27 UN peacekeeping troops to life imprisonment Tuesday. The soldiers of the 14th Nigerian Battalion were convicted of mutiny [Vanguard report] under the Armed Forces Act 2004 [text] for staging street demonstrations in protest of a shortfall in their UN allowances for a Nigerian peacekeeping mission. The protesting soldiers alleged finance officers in the Nigerian Army [official website] stole their extra UN pay. Five of the officers convicted and sentenced were finance officers held vicariously liable for the protests. The sentences are must be confirmed by Nigerian authorities. The soldiers' lawyer anticipates appealing the judgment [AP report].

UN Peacekeeping [official website] missions have increasingly come under international criticism [CBC report] for being underfunded, understaffed, and underprepared. Although many larger nations continue to fund peacekeeping missions, fewer and fewer nations are willing to send troops. Currently there are 16 UN peacekeeping missions worldwide, including several in Africa.

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