UNISFA observes UN Peacekeepers Day
The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) observed the International Day of UN Peacekeepers with several activities focused on thanking the UN Peacekeepers serving in Abyei area, as well as honor those who have lost their lives while serving the United Nations.
A parade of uniformed personnel and civilian staff took place on 30 May in UNISFA Mission HQ led by Brig Gen Deriba Mekonnen Hateu, OIC acting Head of Mission and Force Commander; Mr. Robert Kirkwood, Chief of Mission Support; and Ms. Mary Gahonzire, Senior Police Advisor.
This year’s commemoration of the UN Peacekeepers Day marked the 70th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping. In 1948, the UN Security Council established the first UN peacekeeping operation – the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO).
Since 1948, more than 1 million men and women have served in a total of 71 UN peacekeeping operations, directly impacting the lives of hundreds of millions of people, protecting the world’s most vulnerable and saving countless lives.
Currently, UN peacekeeping deploys more than 90,000 military, police and civilian personnel in 14 peacekeeping operations on four continents.
In Abyei, around 4,800 uniformed and civilian personnel are currently working to protect civilians and to support peace and stability efforts in the area.
During the ceremony, wreaths were offered to honor the more than 3,700 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948.
A sports festival aimed at promoting camaraderie among staff and community was held with competing teams from the Abyei community, uniformed personnel as well as civilian staff. Similar activity is scheduled in Gok Machar, Diffra, and Kadugli.