Uniformed UN personnel honored for distinguished service
Uniformed personnel serving in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) were today honored for their distinguished service.
The 17 uniformed personnel drawn from the military, police and corrections components of the Mission were awarded the UN Special Services Medal by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG), Michael Keating, at a function held in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
Speaking at the medal award ceremony, SRSG Keating saluted the uniformed personnel for their commitment and bravery while working in an extremely challenging environment.
“Thank you for what you have done. You are making a very significant contribution both to the United Nations, the African Union Mission in Somalia and indeed to this country. Congratulations,” he said.
The United Nations medal parade ceremony was attended by the Director of UNSOS, Amadu Kamara, the UNSOM Police Commissioner, Christophe Buik, and several senior officials of the Rule of Law and Security Institutions Group of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia.
The service rendered by the uniformed personnel, SRSG Keating observed, was critical, especially in a country like Somalia which is undergoing a major political transition after prolonged civil war.
“This country is going through a totally extraordinary political transformation after 35 years of conflict,” said the SRSG. “They are trying to put a state together, one that will be very unique and very Somali and not put together by the rules that we recognize, but that are distinct and suited to Somalia’s clan history. This is an extraordinarily difficult task both for the Somalis and for those trying to help them.”
The SRSG said he was fully aware of the complexities faced by uniformed personnel serving in a country like Somalia.
The United Nations Special Services Medal was established in 1995 to recognize military personnel and civilian police officers serving the United Nations in capacities other than established peacekeeping missions and UN Headquarters.