UNMISS celebrates Ethiopian peacekeepers commitment to peace

5 Oct 2018

UNMISS celebrates Ethiopian peacekeepers commitment to peace

Leni Kinzli

Standing in formation under the sweltering sun, hundreds of Ethiopian peacekeepers serving in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan received the UN medal in honor of their service for peace in the country.

More than 600 peacekeepers from the Ethbatt1 company were recognized for their contribution to implementing the mission’s mandate, particularly protecting civilians.

“Rest assured, you are all making a positive change here for the people of South Sudan. Your efforts make a real difference to their lives,” said the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Moustapha Soumaré.

They have been working to protect thousands of vulnerable South Sudanese living in the UNMISS protection of civilians site in Juba. They also persevered through poor road conditions and unpredictable security circumstances to reach remote communities and help build confidence amongst the local population.

Their efforts were rewarded with, not only a medal, but the satisfaction that their dedication – along with that of their country’s leaders – is shaping the future for a peaceful South Sudan.

“The peace of South Sudan is our peace. The peace of Ethiopia is the peace of South Sudan. The link is direct,” said Ethiopia’s ambassador to South Sudan, Fisseha Shawl.

Ethiopia’s political leadership helped bring South Sudan’s rival parties together to sign a revitalized peace agreement in Addis Ababa last month. This has provided a beacon of hope to the people of South Sudan who have grown weary of the country’s 5-year civil war.

“Nowhere is Ethiopia’s contribution to peace more evident than in South Sudan. Their role has helped lead to the signing of the recent peace agreement,” added Moustapha Soumaré.

He also applauded Ethiopia’s commitment to peacekeeping worldwide, as the largest troop contributing country to United Nations peacekeeping efforts. Over 8,000 peacekeepers from Ethiopia serve in UN missions globally, with 2,000 of them in South Sudan.

The hundreds that accepted their medals, stood proudly, knowing that both their personal sacrifice and service to their country’s flag is helping to build a durable peace – not only in South Sudan, but around the world. That satisfaction and recognition made enduring the baking heat well worth it.