UN honors Three Ethiopian Peacekeepers Posthumously

ADDIS ABABA – The United Nations is set to honors three Ethiopian peacekeepers posthumously today ahead of the International Day of Un Peacekeepers Day.

The Dag Hammarskjöld Medal will be awarded posthumously to 117 military, police, and civilian peacekeepers, who lost their life serving under the UN flag last year, the UN announced in a statement on Thursday.

Among the peacekeepers to be honored, it said three are Ethiopian peacekeepers who served with the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).

Cpl Solomon Ayalew, Sgt Abebe Tesfaye, and Sgt Tekelargay Tinikshu will be honored in a ceremony at the Un headquarters later today.

The UN will award the “Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage” posthumously to Captain Abdelrazakh Hamit Bahar of Chad, who served with the United Nations Integrated Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

The medal is named for a Senegalese peacekeeper who was killed in Rwanda in 1994 after saving countless civilian lives.

This is the second time the medal has been awarded since the inaugural medal was presented to Captain Diagne’s family in his honour in 2016.

The UN will also award the ‘2021 Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award’ to Major Winnet Zharare, a Zimbabwean military observer, who served with the UN Mission in South Sudan.

Created in 2016, the Award “recognizes the dedication and effort of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles of UN Security Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.”

The theme for this year’s observance is “People. Peace. Progress. The Power of Partnerships.”

Increasing Threats

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, said: “Every day, UN peacekeepers work to protect vulnerable people in the world’s most fragile political and security situations.”

He under-Secretary General said the dangers peacekeepers “face are greater than ever, with increasing global tensions, ever-more complex threats from terrorist attacks to organized crime”.

The use of Improvised Explosive Devices and a surge in mis and disinformation targeting their missions and the communities peacekeepers serve exasperated the the threats, he added.

“Despite these challenges, peacekeepers persevere alongside our many partners in the collective pursuit of peace,” he said, “Today, we thank them for their tremendous contribution and remember with great sorrow our colleagues who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the cause of peace.”

In 2002, the UN General Assembly designated May 29 as International Day of UN Peacekeepers to pay tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.

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