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Fallen Ethiopian peacekeepers to be honored at NY ceremony

Addis Ababa, May 26, 2018 (FBC) -The United Nations (UN) will commemorate the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers at the UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, 29 May 2018.

Today, more than 96,000 uniformed personnel from 124 troop- and-police-contributing countries serve under the blue flag, alongside more than 15,000 international and national civilian staff and nearly 1,600 United Nations Volunteers.

In his message to mark the Day, Secretary-General António Guterres announced that he will spend the Day with United Nations Peacekeepers in Mali “to express my solidarity with colleagues facing high casualties and enormous volatility.”

This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of UN Peacekeeping, the flagship enterprise of the Organization described by the Secretary-General as “a proven investment in global peace, security and prosperity.”

“We express our gratitude to the more than one million men and women who have served under the UN flag, saving countless lives.

We honour the more than 3,700 blue helmets who have paid the ultimate price. And we pay tribute to the 14 peacekeeping missions working around the clock to protect people and advance the cause of peace,” according to Mr. Guterres.

Upon his return from Mali, the Secretary-General will preside over the observance of the International Day of Peacekeepers at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Friday, 1 June.

He will lay a wreath to honour those who lost their lives while in the service of peace and will also officiate at a ceremony to posthumously present the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal to 127 military, police and civilian personnel who lost their lives in peacekeeping operations during 2017.

Six fallen peacekeepers from Ethiopia are among those who will be posthumously awarded the Dag Hammarskjold medal: Sergeant Gebrewahid DERSE and Private Tibebu MAMO who served with the African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID); Private Shibiru ABASINIMBO, S. SGT Bahta BEYENE and Corporal Solomon Berele FENETE who were deployed with UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA); and Private Mohamed ABAWARE who served in the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Ethiopia is the largest contributor of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping. It currently deploys more than 8,300 military and police personnel to the UN peace operations in Abyei, Mali, Sudan and South Sudan.

The General Assembly established the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers in 2002 to pay tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.

The Assembly designated 29 May as the Day because it was the date in 1948 when the first UN peacekeeping mission – the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization -began operations in the Middle East.

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