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‘I want peace for future generations’

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‘I want peace for future generations’

– Bestman Ezekwu Enock, serving in DR Congo
Bestman Ezekwu Enock

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Bestman Ezekwu Enock and I am a Naval Officer of the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Nigerian Navy. I am 34 years old and I have two daughters. I am currently serving at the Joint Operations Centre in Goma as a Military Staff Officer. I have a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Defense Studies, and I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution.

How long have you been a peacekeeper and what are your responsibilities?

I have been working as a peacekeeper for the past seven months. My duties include preparing military and security briefs for the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, helping in the production of the Northern Sector Weekly reports, as well as giving coordination briefs on the mission. In addition, as the Joint Operations Centre Duty Officer and focal person for the mission, I work closely with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at Headquarters to give them information related to what is happening on the field.

Why did you choose this career? How did you become a UN Peacekeeper?

I chose to become a peacekeeper because I  did conflict studied conflicts and I wanted to have firsthand experience. I also wanted to contribute to making the world a more peaceful place for us and future generations.

What is your typical day like?

A typical day at the Joint Operations Centre is extremely busy. The main role of the centre is to provide situational awareness for the mission leadership during crises. As a duty officer, I am usually the first-person people call to collect information on the mission. This makes my days very busy. It means that I have to be on alert and aware of the situation at all times. This can sometimes be very demanding.

What part of your job do you find most challenging and why?

In my opinion, being away from my family and my friends is the most challenging part of this job.

What did your family and friends back home think about your decision to leave your country and work for a UN peacekeeping mission?

My family and my friends were excited for me to work for a UN peacekeeping mission, but they were also very worried about the inherent risk of Ebola, armed group activities and the constant threat of volcanic eruptions in the area.

What do you do when you have some spare time?

During my spare time, I enjoy reading books on cyber security, human history and science fiction. I also appreciate playing football, exercising, driving and travelling.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself as a champion of peace, promoting peace and conflict resolution within my community. 

What would you say to young people considering a career in peacekeeping?

Being a peacekeeper is interesting and very rewarding in terms of experiences and exposure to new ways of life and new situations.