Fallen Kenyan peacekeepers to be honored at UN


Four fallen Kenyan soldiers are among 126 peacekeepers who are set to be honored later on Friday during the International Day of the United Nations Peacekeepers to be observed in New York.


A statement from the Nairobi-based UN Information Center (UNIC) said the peacekeepers, including military, police and civilian that lost their lives in 2014 while serving with the UN as a result of hostile acts, accidents and disease, will posthumously receive the Dag Hammarskjold Medal at a ceremony at the UN Headquarters in New York.
“The international community has high expectations from our civilian and military peacekeepers and we must ensure they are provided with all the support they need to undertake their important tasks,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Atul Khare said Friday.
He said the world should continue to work together to enable operations in remote and dangerous environments, at the same time, prioritizing the safety and security of peacekeepers by strengthening collaboration and partnerships with troop and police contributing countries.
Kenya is the 29th largest contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping. Nairobi currently deploys 947 military and police personnel to the UN operations in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Sudan and South Sudan
The 2015 commemorative ceremonies will be held at a time when the demand for United Nations peacekeepers is at an all-time high.

There are now more than 121,000 UN peacekeepers, including 91, 000 military personnel, 13,000 police officers as well as 17,000 international civilian and national staff serving in 16 operations on four continents.
This year’s Day will mark the seventh successive year in which the world body will honor the fallen peacekeepers. Commemorative activities will be held globally including Kenya.
The International Day of UN Peacekeepers was established by the General Assembly in 2002, in tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
The Assembly designated May 29 as the Day because it was the date in 1948 when the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), the world body’s first peacekeeping mission, began operations in Palestine.
This year’s International Day of UN Peacekeepers falls during the significant 70th anniversary of the UN. Enditem

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