Senior Cambodian and Nigerian military officials announced a joint initiative to strengthen military cooperation between the two nations' armies, navies, air forces and peacekeeping forces under the UN framework.

Brigadier General Ea Ejodame, adviser to the Nigerian Army responsible for coordination with Cambodia and who is stationed in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, said the strengths of the armies of Cambodia and Nigeria are complimentary as the two countries have a similar training system with army institutes, national defence universities and peacekeeping centres, which makes it easier for both sides to plan opportunities to share experiences and knowledge.

Ejodame met with Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) Commander-in-Chief General Vong Pisen on July 25 during his first visit to Cambodia for discussions about cooperation in the military, security and defence sectors of the two countries.

An RCAF press release quoted Ejodame as saying that Cambodia and Nigeria shared similar histories in some ways because they had both suffered through wars and are now striving for peace and sharing their experiences in armed conflicts with other nations’ militaries in the hope of preventing future wars.

“I agreed with [Ejodame’s] remarks about looking for opportunities to strengthen communication and cooperation between the armies, navies, air force and peacekeeping forces of our two countries,” General Pisen was quoted as saying in the press release.

The general said he believed that Ejodame's visit will enable the two countries’ armies to expand relations and cooperation in the near future through a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

Yang Kim Eng, president of the People's Centre for Development and Peace, said given that Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and is rapidly developing like Cambodia, it is important to exchange experiences and share insights into problems both nations have faced and there is good potential for practical involvement or cooperation between their peacekeeping forces within the UN framework.

“Certainly, it's beneficial for Nigeria and Cambodia to be exchanging experiences, techniques and helping each other with training. I believe that it is a necessary and prudent policy to pursue military cooperation between our countries ... so that we can more effectively defend our territorial integrity and continue to be strong contributors to UN peacekeeping missions abroad,” he told The Post on July 25.