Bangladeshi engineers awarded the UN medal for their service to South Sudan
Across South Sudan, communities are struggling to recover in the aftermath of five years of civil war.
The conflict not only devastated families but it also destroyed vital infrastructure. The climate creates ongoing challenges in the midst of efforts to rebuild with heavy flooding during the rainy season wiping out many roads, making them impassable. This affects the transportation of humanitarian aid to vulnerable communities as well as food and other goods destined for local markets.
A contingent of Bangladeshi engineers has done its best to improve that situation by rebuilding and repairing more than 400 kilometers of roads in the past year, providing a lifeline between the capital Juba and outlying towns.
“Your work has made a huge difference to people’s lives,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, David Shearer. “You’ve enabled trade and, also supported efforts to build peace because people are now able to travel to meet each other to reconcile, build trust and a better future for South Sudan.”
At a special ceremony in Juba, the 258-strong contingent was awarded the prestigious United Nations medal for their contribution. In addition to the work they have done for the people of South Sudan, the troops were praised for their efforts to support the Mission itself by constructing perimeter fencing to provide security in compounds, oxidation ponds, and waste-water treatment plants.
“With all these untiring efforts, Bangladesh has proved its dedication to world peace,” said Bangladesh Senior National Officer, Brigadier General Taef Ul Haq. “I firmly reiterate our commitment to peacekeeping operations and assure you that Bangladeshi peacekeepers will do their best for the greater interest of world peace.”
Since first deploying peacekeepers in 1988, Bangladesh has served in 54 peacekeeping operations in 40 countries. It currently has almost 7000 peacekeepers serving in eight missions and 118 troops have paid the ultimate sacrifice, losing their lives while serving the cause of peace under the UN flag.
“Bangladesh engineers are, and will always be, the pride of the UNMISS force. I compliment them on their contribution and unmatched dedication,” said UNMISS Force Commander, Shailesh Tinaiker.