National

Nepali blue helmets in Sudan awarded UN Medal for service

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 17, 2017-Nepali Formed Police Unit serving in South Sudan has been awarded United Nations Medal for service in the South Sudanese capital of Juba.

The Fourth Nepali Police Unit was awarded with the medal on Wednesday during a medal award ceremony at the UN base in Juba, said a statement issued by the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Of the 320-strong Nepali troops serving in South Sudan, 27 are women. The Nepali troops are set to return home in February after a year-long deployment.

David Shearer, head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), praised the contingent of 320 police officers—180 based in the capital Juba and 140 based in Bor, in the Jonglei region—for “their commendable contribution to the mission’s core mandate which is to protect civilians and to build durable peace in South Sudan.”

Stating that the contingent is preparing to return home in February 2018 after a year-long deployment working in difficult and stressful conditions away from family and friends, Sheraer urged the peacekeepers to “wear the medals as proud and worthy ambassadors of Nepal and the United Nations”, the statement read.

“The more women we have, particularly in these roles, the better we are able to communicate and work with the people of South Sudan,” said Shearer. “Many of the people who are most affected are women and children and they respond very well, particularly to women police.”

Nepal is the sixth largest Troop Contributing Country with over 5,100 uniformed personnel currently deployed in UN peacekeeping missions across the world. Nearly 2,000 currently serve in South Sudan. The first group of Nepali peacekeepers reached the conflict-affected country in January 2014, shortly after the outbreak of civil war in December 2013.

Since becoming a member of the United Nations in 1955, more than 100,000 Nepalis have served in peacekeeping missions around the world.

Having travelled far from their small landlocked country, home to the famous Mount Everest, the Nepali Formed Police Unit has served and protected the people of South Sudan including the internally displaced who have sought refuge at the Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites next to UN bases in Juba and Bor, the UN statement added.

“I feel very proud and happy because I have helped and supported many internally displaced people here. I feel I have successfully concluded my mission,” the statement quoted Mala Awa, a female police inspector, as saying after the medal ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony, UNMISS Police Commissioner, Bruce Munyambo, applauded the “dedicated, disciplined and loyal” FPU members who risked their lives to protect civilians, paying special tribute to those who sustained physical injury during the crisis in July 2016. “Even in lesser numbers, you stood firm to protect others,” he said.

Published: 17-11-2017 07:57

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