|The United Nations Resident Coordinator in South Africa, Nardos Bekele-Thomas, yesterday lavished praise on the role the country is playing in peacekeeping missions in Africa.
Speaking at this year’s commemoration of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers held in Bloemfontein, Ms. Bekele-Thomas said, “South Africa’s brave men and women put their lives at risk daily in their efforts to bring peace and security in the countries from which they operate.”
With a total of more than 1,190 troops stationed in UN Peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and South Sudan, South Africa today is 11th biggest troop contributor to UN Peacekeeping in Africa and the 17th biggest in the world.
“Many other South African men and women have paid the ultimate price in the service for global peace,” Ms. Bekele-Thomas told the gathering which included the Chief of the South African National Defence Force, General Solly Zacharia Shoke, a military parade and families of those who died in peacekeeping missions, adding, “And for their service and sacrifice, we shall forever be grateful to them, to their beloved families and to all South Africans.”
Every year on 29 May, the global community takes a moment to acknowledge the important role played by men and women who serve in UN peacekeeping missions across the world.