Published On: Wed, Jan 17th, 2018

Eleven officers recognized for their United Nations service in Somalia

Eleven international military officers serving with the United Nations in Somalia were recognized at a medal ceremony today for their service in the Horn of Africa country.

The military advisers who are completing their tours of duty hailed from nine countries – Burundi, Ghana, India, Mauritania, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Turkey, Uganda and the United Kingdom  – and focused on issues like the integration of state-level security forces into the Somali National Army and the drafting of a maritime code. Six of them served with the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the remaining five with the UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS).

“The officers here today have displayed dedication to the tasks assigned to them and commitment to ensure that the Mission’s mandate is implemented,” Raisedon Zenenga, the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Somalia, said during the awards ceremony, which was held inside the UNSOM compound in Mogadishu.

He also commended the officers for their contribution to Somalia’s peace-building efforts.

The Head of UNSOS, Hubert Price, told the attendees that the officers had forged strong bonds with their Somali counterparts in the regional capitals and cities where they had worked. These included the national capital, Mogadishu, Baidoa in  South West state, Garowe in Puntland state, Belet Weyne in HirShabelle state, and Kismaayo in Jubbaland state.

In his remarks at the event, Staffan Tillander, the Director of UNSOM’s Rule of Law and Security Institutions Group – to which some of the officers had been assigned – highlighted their significant contributions to the building of sustainable security institutions within the framework of Somalia’s recently-adopted Comprehensive Approach to Security policy.

The 11 officers were each decorated with a United Nations Special Service Medal and a certificate of honour for their service. The medals are awarded to uniformed personnel who have served in a UN mission for at least 90 days.

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