By Dipo Olowookere
No fewer than 230 Nigerian peacekeepers serving with United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) were awarded with the United Nations Medal in acknowledgement of their contribution to peace and stability in Liberia.
Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Farid Zarif, presided over the ceremony at Camp Abuja in Monrovia, where UN medals were also presented to Staff Officers, Military Observers, and the Pakistani Medical Contingent (PAKMED).
Speaking at the event, the SRSG stated that these peacekeepers have contributed towards strengthening and consolidating peace and stability in Liberia. They have brought pride and honour, not just to their contingents, but also to their nations.
“You have also given meaning to the United Nations services throughout the world by helping nations in distress in order to fight back some of the challenges that may have gone beyond their capacity,” said SRSG Zarif.
The peacekeepers were asked by SRSG Zarif to take pride in their contribution to serving the common cause of the United Nations by helping humanity and nations in distress.
He said that by doing so, peacekeepers justify the presence and continuation of the work of the United Nations as the most indispensable organization without which humanity will be in difficult distress.
“Be proud of what you are doing in supporting and maintaining peace around the world and helping other nations,” said Farid.
In attendance at the ceremony were top official of UNMIL and UN Country Team, including the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (DSRSG) for Peace Consolidation, Yacoub El Hillo, Force Commander, Major General Salihu Zaway Uba and Director of Mission Support (DMS), David Penklis.
Security Council at its 7851st meeting, on 23 December 2016 adopted the Resolution 2333 (2016) that extended the mandate of UNMIL for a final period until March 30, 2018, and requests the Secretary-General to complete by April 30, 2018 the withdrawal of all uniformed and civilian UNMIL components, other than those required to complete the Mission’s liquidation.
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