Mali’s contribution to peace process in the CAR recognized through its police officers
Bangui, Central African Republic – For over a half century, Mali has answered the United Nations call for peacekeeping in the world. The West-African country has, over the years, actively participated in efforts to prevent and end conflict globally – from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola to Sierra Leone, Haiti, Sudan, Kosovo, Somalia, Liberia and the Central African Republic.
MINUSCA today held a medal ceremony for 15 United Nations Police (UNPOL) officers from Mali in recognition of their work in the implementation of the Mission mandate in the Central African Republic.
Working hand in hand with the internal security forces – not seldom in highly challenging circumstances – they provide training and mentoring and apply their expertise across the judicial, postal, recruitment and reporting sectors. They have been involved in conducting patrols; worked to strengthen the capacity of their local counterparts and taken part in the implementation of quick-impact projects. Some have been entrusted with leadership positions – they include a director of judicial services and a head of the postal services in Bouar.
Addressing the recipients, contingent leader Diangnafla Diallo urged them to respect the principles of the United Nations in the pursuit of peace: ”The medals you are being awarded not only symbolize the recognition of the United Nations for your work but are also a call to redouble your efforts to carry the UN and Malian flags even higher.”
For his part, the Head of MINUSCA’s Police Component, Major General Pascal Champion commended the peacekeepers for ”a job well done, and especially recognized and appreciated” and described the honours as testament to the Mission’s gratitude for their enormous efforts in protecting civilians, restoring law and order and supporting security sector reform.
”You represent your government’s commitment to the noble ideals of peace and security, as do the 39 Malian peacekeepers deployed in other peacekeeping missions around the world,” declared the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central African Republic Mankeur Ndiaye while speaking at the ceremony. ”I am confident that you will be emboldened by the worthy history left by your predecessors and that you will, in turn, contribute to writing the pages to come with the same excellence.”
Today’s event is the fourth medal ceremony organized in honour of Malian peacekeepers in the Central African Republic – who have, since January 2015, been deployed to Bangui, Bambari, Kaga-Bandoro, Bria, Berberati and Bouar. 25 police officers – including one woman – represents Mali in the Central African Republic currently.
1960 marked Mali’s first-ever contribution to a United Nations peacekeeping mission – with the sending of a military contingent to Léopoldville (now Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The first police peacekeepers from the country were sent to Angola in 1995.