Zambian peacekeepers decorated in Sierra Leone

Freetown- Sierra Leone (PANA) -- The Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Sierra Leone, Behrooz Sadry, has decorated 830 Zambian peacekeepers - 19 of them females - serving with the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL).
The ceremony, in which Sadry awarded the medals of honour to the soldiers, took place in the diamond-town of Tongo Fields in Kenema District, Eastern Sierra Leone.
UN medals are awarded to peacekeepers who complete three months of service without committing any offence.
Addressing the Zambian Battalion (ZAMBATT) Four troops and local residents, Sadry congratulated the peacekeepers for "serving the mission with distinction," thus earning them the coveted and prestigious UN Service Medals.
"You have earned it and you deserve it," he told the peacekeepers who included 53 officers, two of them women.
Sadry said that it was a matter of "deep satisfaction for all of us that the decade-long conflict that left the country in ruins has ended through the determination of Sierra Leoneans and the assistance of the international community.
" He praised the Zambians for their "most valuable contribution," while also paying special tribute to all those who paid the supreme sacrifice with their lives in an effort to attain peace in the West African state.
Sadry also paid tribute to ZAMBATT Four's predecessors for their "key role" in the successful disarmament and demobilisation process as well as their role in the conduct of presidential and parliamentary elections in May 2002.
Noting the force's current role in providing humanitarian assistance to local communities, the UN diplomat said: "It is a matter of great satisfaction that ZAMBATT Four is now carrying forward UNAMSIL's task with the same commitment and zeal.
" UNAMSIL Force Commander, Lieutenant General Daniel Opande and his deputy, Major Genera Syed Athar Ali, assisted the Acting Special Representative in decorating the peacekeepers.

16 november 2002 10:39:00




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