A Nigerian peacekeeper, , serving with the UN Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), has been decorated with medal for her outstanding service.
She was decorated with the medal by the UN Secretary-General Antonio GuterresÂ on Tuesday.
The UN will also honour three fallen Nigerian peacekeepers onÂ June 1, at the UN headquarters in New York.
They are Lt. Col. Ali Suleiman, who served with the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Others are Warrant Officer Remmy Amakwe, who was deployed with the African Unionâ€“United Nations Mission in Darfur; and Mr Kolawole Shogaolu, who served in a civilian capacity in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali.
NAN reports that the honour is an acknowledgement of the contribution of Nigeria to UN Peacekeeping Operations to ensure global peace and security.
The decoration was part of activities to honour the service and sacrifice of peacekeepers around the world to mark the 2018 International Day of UN Peacekeepers.
Guterres also awarded a medal to appreciate the outstanding service of Maj. Mohammad Khan from Bangladesh, a military staff officer based at MINUSMA Force headquarters.
Speaking after receiving the award, Amodu said: â€œThe medal is very important. It symbolises what it is to be a peacekeeper at MINUSMA. Receiving it from the Secretary-General is a very unique privilege.
â€œThe terrorists are not relenting in what they are doing. And obviously, we are not backing out in what we have come to doâ€, she added, underscoring the worrying security situation in Mali.
She further said: â€œThe UN is all about peace. And when there is peace, there is development.
â€œWhen there is peace, there is promotion of technology. When there is peace, every other thing works the way it should work.
â€œAnd for any person who would want to join MINUSMA, you should have at the back of your mind that when you are coming, it is to support the peace process.â€
NAN reports that more than one million men and women have served under the UN flag, saving countless lives just as over 3,700 blue helmets have paid the ultimate price over the past seven decades.
Troops with the mission have increasingly become the target of attacks.
Meanwhile, Guterres attended a ceremony at MINUSMAâ€™s base in Bamako where he paid tribute to fallen peacekeepers and laid a wreath at the memorial inside the camp, engraved with the names of those killed in the service of peace.
â€œDear peacekeepers, you have demonstrated that you are capable of all forms of sacrifice. For many of your colleagues, this has meant the supreme sacrifice of giving their lives to protect the lives of Malian civilians.
â€œI want to thank you very much for this effort; these sacrifices, to pay tribute to you, and to say how proud I am to work with you.
â€œAs peacekeepers, you are the foremost symbol of the United Nations itselfâ€, Guterres said.
Also, Mahamat Annadif, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Mali and Head of MINUSMA, said that honouring the fallen â€œwarms the hearts of their comrades and encourages us to continue to defend even more resolutely the values of the United Nationsâ€.
Guterres was accompanied on his visit to Mali by Under Secretary-General for Field Support, Atul Khare, Head of UN Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, and the Executive Director of UN Childrenâ€™s Fund, Henrietta Fore.
He was received at the airport by Malian President Ibrahim Keita.
He was also scheduled to meet with Keita and other Malian officials as well as UN officials working in the country.
UN has declared the north-west African country as the most dangerous place in the world to be a â€˜blue helmetâ€™ as 21 troops and seven civilians serving with MINUSMA died in 2017. (NAN)