UN recognizes peacekeeping efforts of troops in Diffra
Around 860 men and women peacekeepers from the 17th Motorized Battalion of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) received the United Nations Medal Awards in recognition of their tireless service and sacrifice to support peace efforts and to maintain security in Abyei Area.
The 17th Motorized Battalion has been deployed for over eight months in Diffra and has been carrying out UNISFA’s mandate by demilitarizing its area of responsibility, protecting communities, providing escorts for humanitarian agencies and securing UN personnel and facilities.
The UN Medals were presented as the UN’s gratitude and appreciation of the troops’ commitment, sacrifice, and hard work.
In his speech during the awarding ceremony, Maj General Tesfay Gidey Hailemichael, UNISFA’s Force Commander and acting Head of Mission, emphasized the role of the UN peacekeepers in Abyei. “Practically they have created relatively peaceful and calm security situation in their area of responsibility. The operationally challenging environment, under which they have had to operate day and night, sometimes in very tough conditions, has never deterred them in carrying out their duties. They work closely and hand in hand with communities and their leaders in order to bring peace to Abyei.”
“The Ethiopian people and Government sent us as ambassadors of the international community to complete the task of ensuring peace and security in the Abyei Area and I am glad to see you all being awarded the UN Medal for your remarkable accomplishment of the missions assigned to you as UN Peacekeepers,” said and Col Hailu G/Hiwot, Battalion Commander of the 17th Motorized Battalion.
The awarding ceremony held on 17 February 2018 at the Battalion base in Diffra was led by the UNISFA Force Commander, along with Brig Gen Assefa Gebru Workneh, UNISFA Chief Liaison Officer for Abyei; Mr Robert Kirkwood, Chief of Mission Support; Mr Alexander Rose, Chief of Staff/Principal Officer; and the 17th Battalion Commander.