The Special Representative decorates 368 Beninese peacekeepers with the UN Medal of Peace
The Special representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for Côte d’Ivoire, Aïchatou Mindaoudou, on 27 May 2016, presided over the ceremony of decoration of 368 peacekeepers of the Benin Contingent (BENINBATT), in the presence of the Force Commander of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), General Didier L’Hôte and the representative of the Chief of Staff of the Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI).
This prestigious event, regularly organized for the military personnel serving in UN missions around the world, is the recognition of the devotion of soldiers to their duty, professionalism, hard work and contribution to the restoration of peace.
Speaking on this occasion, Mrs. Mindaouadou expressed her satisfaction to BENINBATT, not only for the quality of services it has rendered, but also for Benin’s commitment to the return of peace in Côte d’Ivoire. She further underlined the essential role played by the contingent in the military structure of UNOCI. “BENINBATT has always carried-out effectively and with professionalism and dedication missions that were assigned to it”, Mrs. Mindaouadou added. She also noted that actions of Benin troops were highly appreciated both by the Ivorian population which they proudly serve and their hierarchy from which they receive orders.
You must show at all times that you live-up to the ethical requirements that we all have to defend
Mrs. Mindaouadou however recalled that it was of the utmost importance for peacekeepers to strictly follow the code of conduct of the United Nations Personnel, which underscores values such as respect for laws and rules of Côte d’Ivoire, but also of customs of the host country. “You must show at all times that you live-up to the ethical requirements that we all have to defend,” she said. "One odious act is enough to make people forget a thousand noble sacrifices" she said, quoting UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
The Special Representative also thanked Ivorian authorities and the population of Anonkoua Kouté for their forthright support to the BENINBATT troops and expressed her gratitude to the Ivorian people for the help they have provided to the United Nations and UNOCI.
BENINBATT Commander, Colonel Rémi Soko acknowledged the great support and the warm welcome his troops received daily from the Ivorian population.” The deployment of this contingent and the previous ones is the contribution of the brotherly people of Benin to the return of peace and stability in Côte d’Ivoire”, he said.
Traditional Chiefs and local officials from the communes of Youpougon and Abobo took part in the colourful ceremony.