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Ethiopian troops awarded UN peacekeeping medals while celebrating new Millennium
UNMIL | PR 134
Zwedru, Liberia – Nearly 1,800 Ethiopian troops serving with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) have been presented with UN Peacekeeping medals for their invaluable contribution to the peace process at a ceremony that coincided with celebrations of the Ethiopian new Millennium – based on the Julian calendar.
“The uniqueness of your calendar demonstrates the uniqueness and richness of your history, as one of the oldest independent nations in Africa and the world,” said the outgoing Special Representative of the Secretary-General, (SRSG) Mr. Alan Doss. He congratulated the Ethiopian contingent in UNMIL and expressed his sincere appreciation for the valuable work they have accomplished. “From the outset, this Mission has relied on your contingent to provide security in six of Liberia’s counties in the south eat of the country. He further added: “You have also played an important role in patrolling Liberia’s border with the Ivory Coast to avoid any spillover of problems from that country into Liberia. “The work that you have accomplished here will not be forgotten by the Liberian people, you will be part of their history too.”
Ethiopian peacekeepers operate a Level One Hospital, rendering medical services not only to the staff of UNMIL, but also to thousands of Liberians in addition to undertaking humanitarian projects such as rehabilitation of roads, bridges and school infrastructure. They have also assisted in the monitoring and reporting of any illegal movements of Liberia’s natural resources, such as rubber, timber and precious minerals. Ambassador Doss paid special tribute to the Ethiopian Contingent Commander, Colonel Kahsay Mekonen for his leadership.
Speaking on behalf of the citizens of Zwedru and Grand Gedeh County, County Superintendent, Christopher Beh Bailey thanked the troops and Mr. Doss in particular. “You deserved this honor as you have not only kept the peace in Grand Gedeh County, but also continued to render humanitarian services to the people of this land.” Mr. Bailey, in reference to Mr. Doss’ imminent departure to the Democratic Republic of the Congo as the new SRSG there, thanked him for all the work he has done to help people of his county in particular and Liberia as a whole.
The medal award ceremony was also attended by UNMIL’s Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Chikadibia Isaac Obiakor, the Director of Administration, Mr. Stephen Lieberman; UNMIL’s Chief of Staff, Brig.-Gen. Emmanuel Quist; Sector IV Commanding Officer, Brig.-Gen. Mulugeta Behre and other UN and Government officials.
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