Nepalese peacekeeper in Rumbek: “I have contributed to the service of humanity”
Rajendra Baniya is part of the Nepalese peacekeeping contingent serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. Based in Rumbek, Rajendra has a strong “passion to save humanity”.
While still some way from achieving that particular target, he and his colleagues from the Himalayas have just been bestowed a sign of recognition for their enduring efforts for durable peace in the world’s youngest country. They have received shiny UN service medals, awarded to any police or military officer serving the world body and its countless beneficiaries for more than three months.
While Rajendra Baniya describes his everyday life in South Sudan as “filled with amazing experiences,” he acknowledges that working in a multicultural setting comes with its own set of challenges.
“UNMISS is composed of civilian, police and military components from many parts of the world. All have distinct cultures and traditions, and my challenge lies in the need to acquaint myself with the different norms and ways of doing things of my fellow peacekeepers,” he says, adding that taking on board local customs and laws and managing in harsh weather conditions are also part of the package.
Besides wanting to gain experience in UN peacekeeping and enhance his knowledge of such operational skills, Rajendra Baniya stresses his commitment, and that of his native Nepal, to contribute to the betterment of human life as we know it.
“Most importantly, I want to contribute to the service of humanity, as this is also enshrined in our nation’s principles” he states solemnly. “I have, since my arrival in South Sudan, observed that the conflict which took place in this area requires the presence and services of dedicated peacekeepers who can provide the necessary protection and humanitarian assistance to the affected communities.”
The dedication of Nepal to the greater causes of the UN is there for all to see, with more than 125,000 men and women in green from the mountainous country having served 42 peacekeeping mission over the last fifty-odd years. A total of 63 of them have made the ultimate sacrifice, with another 66 have suffered disabilities.
The UN medals were pinned on the officers of the Nepalese contingent by the UNMISS Deputy Force Commander Bayarsaikhan Dashdondog, who in the process lavished praise on the troops.
“Since your deployment to South Sudan, you have demonstrated commitment in implementing the mission mandate to protect civilians under threat of violence. This is an essential and complex task which you have at all times discharged honourably.”