Some 721 peacekeepers of the Moroccan Contingent awarded with the UN Medal of Peace

19 May 2016

Some 721 peacekeepers of the Moroccan Contingent awarded with the UN Medal of Peace

May 17, 2016 was a very special day to be remembered by members of the 23rd Moroccan Royal Armed Forces. Some 721 of them based in Duékoué, who, along with 2 customs officers from Ghana and Rwanda posted in the nearby city of Man received the UN Medal of Peace. It was during a ceremony presided over by the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for Côte d’Ivoire, Aïchatou Mindaoudou. She was accompanied by Brigadier General M’Bemba Keïta, Deputy Force Commander of UNOCI Force.

The UN Medal, it should be recalled, is a prestigious distinction awarded by the United Nations to military personnel in peacekeeping missions, as an acknowledgment for their devotion, professionalism and for contribution to the restoration of peace in their area of deployment.

your action is highly appreciated

At the beginning of the ceremony, Colonel Major Mohamed Bounghab, Commander of the 23rd Moroccan Contingent recalled that the moment was a solemn occasion that will remain in the memory of each of those who will receive this award. He further said that the 23rd Contingent had made sure that its duties are fully accomplished in the theater of operation.

“We have succeeded in promoting peace by intensifying patrols; we have safely escorted refugees to their final destination and we have undertaken civilian and military activities by distributing potable water, as well as food rations to the population”, he said. Colonel Bounghab also thanked the Special Representative and the Force Commander for their support and wished that Côte d’Ivoire will continue its journey towards stability, security and its new-found prosperity.

The Special Representative and Chief of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI),, for her part, paid a special tribute to different Moroccan Contingents which have been deployed since 2004 to support UNOCI and whose valuable actions have, according to her, greatly contributed to the return of peace and security, as well as the strengthening of national reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire.

Following the decoration of Moroccan troops, Mrs. Mindaouadou again expressed her satisfaction on the work of the contingent in this sensitive region of western Côte d’Ivoire. She stressed that in spite of the fact that incidents are frequent in the area, this contingent has shown a total commitment in preserving security and protecting the local population and has also provided humanitarian support and promoted human values. ‘’I would like to praise you for your constant support for the population of the region. Your actions are highly appreciated by not only the population under which service you are, but also by your hierarchy”, she said.

Mrs. Mindaouadou also seized this opportunity to recall the Mission’s tolerance zero policy on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) which, she said, is of the utmost importance for her. She therefore called on military personnel to fully abide by the rules on SEA and to respect the code of good conduct for UN personnel. “Be assured that I have committed myself to make sure that there is zero impunity for those who have been found guilty of sexual exploitation and abuse”, she said.