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Cameroon Introduces First Peacekeeping Battalion
Cameroon&#39;s first 800-member peacekeeping battalion and new Peacekeeping Training Instructor Group were honored at a ceremony in Ngaoundere on December 12, 2008. <br /> <br />Mr. Jean Baptiste Bokam, Cameroon&#39;s Secretary of State at the
NGAOUNDERE, Cameroon - Jean Baptiste Bokam, Cameroon&#39;s Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defense (front, left), and U.S. Ambassador Janet Garvey (front, right), prepare for a ceremony honoring Cameroon&#39;s first 800-member peacekeeping battalion in Ngaoundere, Cameroon, December 12, 2008. The initiative was led by representatives of the U.S. armed forces under the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program, and was geared to strengthen Cameroon&#39;s military forces and improve regional security. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy, Cameroon)
4 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 4: NGAOUNDERE, Cameroon - Jean Baptiste Bokam, Cameroon's Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defense (front, left), and U.S. Ambassador Janet Garvey (front, right), prepare for a ceremony honoring Cameroon's first 800-member peacekeeping battalion in Ngaoundere, Cameroon, December 12, 2008. The initiative was led by representatives of the U.S. armed forces under the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program, and was geared to strengthen Cameroon's military forces and improve regional security. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy, Cameroon) Download full-resolution version
NGAOUNDERE, Cameroon - Jean Baptiste Bokam, Cameroon's Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defense (front, 4th from left), and U.S. Ambassador Janet Garvey (front, 3rd from left), stand with Cameroonian officers and U.S. service members from Marine Forces Africa, during a ceremony in Ngaoundere, Cameroon, December 12, 2008. The ceremony, honoring Cameroon's first peacekeeping battalion, followed several weeks of training led by members of the U.S. armed forces under the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy, Cameroon)
4 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 4: NGAOUNDERE, Cameroon - Jean Baptiste Bokam, Cameroon's Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defense (front, 4th from left), and U.S. Ambassador Janet Garvey (front, 3rd from left), stand with Cameroonian officers and U.S. service members from Marine Forces Africa, during a ceremony in Ngaoundere, Cameroon, December 12, 2008. The ceremony, honoring Cameroon's first peacekeeping battalion, followed several weeks of training led by members of the U.S. armed forces under the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy, Cameroon) Download full-resolution version
NGAOUNDERE, Cameroon - Members of Cameroon&#39;s first peacekeeping battalion practice techniques for providing protection to humanitarian conveys during a training program in Ngaoundere, which concluded on December 12, 2008. The initiative was led by representatives of the U.S. armed forces under the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program and was geared to strengthen Cameroon&#39;s military forces and improve regional security. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy, Cameroon)
4 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 3 of 4: NGAOUNDERE, Cameroon - Members of Cameroon's first peacekeeping battalion practice techniques for providing protection to humanitarian conveys during a training program in Ngaoundere, which concluded on December 12, 2008. The initiative was led by representatives of the U.S. armed forces under the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program and was geared to strengthen Cameroon's military forces and improve regional security. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy, Cameroon) Download full-resolution version
NGAOUNDERE, Cameroon - Members of Cameroon's first peacekeeping battalion review human rights rules of engagement during a training program in Ngaoundere, Cameroon which concluded December 12, 2008. The initiative was led by representatives of the U.S. armed forces under the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program, and was geared to strengthen Cameroon's military forces and improve regional security. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy, Cameroon)
4 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 4 of 4: NGAOUNDERE, Cameroon - Members of Cameroon's first peacekeeping battalion review human rights rules of engagement during a training program in Ngaoundere, Cameroon which concluded December 12, 2008. The initiative was led by representatives of the U.S. armed forces under the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program, and was geared to strengthen Cameroon's military forces and improve regional security. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy, Cameroon) Download full-resolution version
NGAOUNDERE, Cameroon - Jean Baptiste Bokam, Cameroon&#39;s Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defense (front, left), and U.S. Ambassador Janet Garvey (front, right), prepare for a ceremony honoring Cameroon&#39;s first 800-member peacekeeping battalion in Ngaoundere, Cameroon, December 12, 2008. The initiative was led by representatives of the U.S. armed forces under the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program, and was geared to strengthen Cameroon&#39;s military forces and improve regional security. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy, Cameroon)
NGAOUNDERE, Cameroon - Jean Baptiste Bokam, Cameroon's Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defense (front, 4th from left), and U.S. Ambassador Janet Garvey (front, 3rd from left), stand with Cameroonian officers and U.S. service members from Marine Forces Africa, during a ceremony in Ngaoundere, Cameroon, December 12, 2008. The ceremony, honoring Cameroon's first peacekeeping battalion, followed several weeks of training led by members of the U.S. armed forces under the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy, Cameroon)
NGAOUNDERE, Cameroon - Members of Cameroon&#39;s first peacekeeping battalion practice techniques for providing protection to humanitarian conveys during a training program in Ngaoundere, which concluded on December 12, 2008. The initiative was led by representatives of the U.S. armed forces under the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program and was geared to strengthen Cameroon&#39;s military forces and improve regional security. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy, Cameroon)
NGAOUNDERE, Cameroon - Members of Cameroon's first peacekeeping battalion review human rights rules of engagement during a training program in Ngaoundere, Cameroon which concluded December 12, 2008. The initiative was led by representatives of the U.S. armed forces under the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program, and was geared to strengthen Cameroon's military forces and improve regional security. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy, Cameroon)
Cameroon's first 800-member peacekeeping battalion and new Peacekeeping Training Instructor Group were honored at a ceremony in Ngaoundere on December 12, 2008.

Mr. Jean Baptiste Bokam, Cameroon's Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence, and U.S. Ambassador to Cameroon Janet Garvey presided over the ceremony, which followed several weeks of training led by representatives of the U.S. armed forces under the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program.

The initiative was geared to assist the Cameroon military in strengthening their forces and improving regional security.

During the graduation ceremony, Garvey remarked, "Because of the ongoing security challenges in central Africa, it is my hope that Cameroon will take advantage of its strategic position and strong potential to play a greater leadership role by deploying peacekeepers in support of a regional mission, whether in support of the United Nations or the African Union."

As part of the training effort, the Cameroon military received equipment donated by the United States, including water purification systems, generators, military radios, office equipment, and uniforms.

Established by the United States in 1997, the purpose of ACOTA is to train military personnel in African nations to effectively participate in multinational peacekeeping operations and deployments in support of the United Nations and the African Union. To date, ACOTA has provided training and non-lethal equipment to more than 43,000 peacekeepers from over 20 African nations.

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