Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr

Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander

United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA)

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 1 February 2022 the appointment of Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr of Nigeria as Force Commander for the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). 

Major General Sawyerr succeeds Major General Kefyalew Amde Tessema of Ethiopia to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedication, invaluable service and effective leadership during his appointment with UNISFA. 

Major General Sawyerr has a military career spanning more than 34 years of service with the Nigerian Army, including as the Director of Defence Information of Nigeria’s Defence Forces since 2021.  

Previously, he served as Commandant of the Nigerian Army Armour School in Bauchi State in North East Nigeria (2020-2021).  He held the position of Brigade Commander twice in North East Nigeria and was Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Battalion with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (2009-2010).  He also served as the Director of Plans at the Nigerian Army Headquarters (2019-2020) and Deputy Director of Doctrine and Combat Development (2017-2018). 

Major General Sawyerr holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in Nigeria and a Masters in Defence and Strategic Studies from the University of Madras in India.  He is fluent in English, with a working knowledge of Hausa and basic French.