The United Nations on Thursday honoured two Nigerian police officers and 101 other peacekeepers that died in the line of duty last year.
The two Nigerians are Sgt. Nasiru Bawa, and Insp. Saratu Haruna, who served with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Prof. Tijjani Muhammad Bande, received the awards on behalf of the fallen police officers.
Other recipients of the award are military, police and civilian peacekeepers with the UN.
They were posthumously awarded the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal during an award ceremony to mark the 2023 International Day of UN Peacekeepers at the headquarters of the global body in New York, the United States.
The International Day of UN Peacekeepers was established by the UN General Assembly in 2002, to pay tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping, and to honour the memory of those who had lost their lives in the cause of peace.
In his message, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said: “United Nations peacekeepers are the beating heart of our commitment to a more peaceful world.
“For 75 years, they have supported people and communities rocked by conflicts and upheavals across the globe.
“Today, on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, we honour their extraordinary contributions to international peace and security.”
On his part, the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, said: “Peacekeeping is a powerful example of how strong partnerships and collective political will can result in meaningful change.
“Working together with local communities and other partners, our personnel protect civilians, advance political solutions, and help end conflicts in the pursuit of sustainable peace.
“We appreciate the support of all stakeholders to ensure that UN Peacekeeping can continue to work as an effective multilateral tool for global peace and security.”
Nigeria is currently the 43rd largest contributor to UN peace operations with more than 300 military and police personnel serving in Abyei, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Mali, South Sudan and Western Sahara.
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