Three Nigerians who died during peacekeeping operations will be honoured by the United Nations.
The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the United Nations system in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, said this on Thursday in a press statement to commemorate the International Day of Peacekeepers, observed every May 29.
Kallon expressed gratitude to the Federal Government and Nigerians for their contributions and sacrifices to ensuring global peace and security through the commitment of human and material resources to the UN peacekeeping operations around the world.
The coordinator explained that despite the risk and threats of COVID-19, the UN peacekeepers continued their operations supporting the governments and the local populations around the world.
He said, “The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will on Friday, May 29, preside over a ceremony at which Dag Hammarskjöld Medal will be awarded posthumously to honour the three fallen peacekeepers from Nigeria and 80 others.”
The fallen peacekeepers from Nigeria are Warrant Officer Moshood Lasi si and Police Sergeant Henry Ukomadu who both lost their lives in 2019 while serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali; and also Mr. Gabriel Kolawole Shogaolu who died while serving in a civilian capacity with MINUSMA in 2017.
“While appreciating the Government of Nigeria for her contribution to UN peacekeeping operations, I wish to acknowledge the exemplary services of those peacekeepers from Nigeria and elsewhere, who paid the supreme sacrifice while keeping the peace in other lands.”
Nigeria is the 43rd largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN peace operations.
The country currently contributes a total of 300 peacekeepers to the UN operations in Abyei, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Lebanon, Sudan, South Sudan, Western Sahara, as well as one expert deployed with the UN Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement.