29 May 12 - UNAMID salutes peacekeepers, remembers those fallen
El Fasher, 29 May 2012 – The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) today paid tribute to the sacrifices of those who have served in the name of peace, commemorating the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, and the unique partnership between the two organizations.
A member of UNAMID's contingent from Nigeria plays for the audience. Photo by Albert Gonzalez Farran
This year’s occasion, which honoured the 120,000 peacekeepers serving in 17 missions over the world and mourning those who have died while serving the UN, focused on the theme “Peacekeeping is a global partnership.”
At UNAMID’s headquarters in El Fasher, North Darfur, Deputy Joint Special Representative-Political (DJSR-P), Ms. Aichatou Mindaoudou Souleymane, presided over the ceremony accompanied by representatives from the Government of North Darfur and Mission officials. The programme included a military and police parade, cultural performances and a solemn laying of wreaths.
The representative of the Wali (Governor) and Minister of Environment and Tourism, Mr. Adam Mohamed Ahmed Alnahla, expressed his condolences “for those who lost their lives serving peace in this country.”
A girl from Abu Shouk camp for internally displaced persons (North Darfur) performs a traditional dance. Photo by Albert Gonzalez Farran
Ms. Souleymane conveyed the UN Secretary-General's message: “The ultimate goal of any UN peacekeeping mission is to no longer be necessary. Until we reach that objective, we make every effort for peacekeeping to be as effective and efficient as possible […] let us pledge to strengthen the global partnerships that make our blue helmets a beacon of hope to millions of people around the world.”
The DJSR-P added that “UNAMID is a peacekeeping mission that symbolizes a close partnership between the African Union and the United Nations. This partnership, with peacekeepers from both institutions working together side by side, is unprecedented.”
“Our military forces represent more than 40 nations, and our police 37. Our civilian staffers come from all over the world. We of such diverse cultures have come together, each complementing the other, each seeking to unite our individual strengths for a common cause: A sustainable peace in Darfur,” she highlighted.
The ceremony also served to pay special tribute to the peacekeepers of Thailand, who will leave UNAMID in June after “a truly commendable performance as brave peacekeepers for the communities they protected.”
Similar events were held at UNAMID’s offices around Darfur.