The United Nations Organization honours Henry Ukomadu, Moshood Lasisi and Gabriel Shogaolu and eighty (80) other military, police and civilian peacekeepers, who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2019 with the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal.
The fallen heroes were posthumously awarded the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal during a virtual award ceremony on the 29th of May 2020 to mark the 2020 International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.
Two of them, Henry Ukomadu, a police sergeant, and Moshood Lasisi, an Army warrant officer, died while serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
The third fallen Nigerian peacekeeper, Gabriel Shogaolu, died while serving also with MINUSMA but in civilian capacity in 2017.
During the ceremony, streamed live on the UN website, the recipients’ names were announced and displayed on the screen alongside condolence messages from their countries’ Permanent Representatives to the UN.
In his message, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Nigeria at the UN, Samson Itegboje, extended the “deep condolences and heartfelt sympathies” of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the families and countries of the deceased.
Mr. Itegboje, who participated in the ceremony, currently serves as Chairman of the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations on behalf of Nigeria.
Nigeria, one of the world’s largest troop contributors to the UN peacekeeping operations, was re-elected chair of the committee also known as C-34 for the 48th time in March .
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who presided at the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal award ceremony, expressed gratitude to the 95,000 UN peacekeepers currently deployed around the world.
Mr. Guterres said:
“They are facing one of the greatest challenges ever: delivering on their peace and security mandates while helping countries to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
I now ask all of you, wherever you are, to feel strongly the solidarity with those families that are also permanently in our memory, in our attention.
This is because they were the ones who suffered more to get less with those fallen in the line of duty.”
“[Women peacekeepers] play an essential role for the success of our peace operations.
Day by day, women peacekeepers help improve all aspects of our operations and performance; they ensure better access to local communities.
They prevent and reduce conflict and confrontation, and they serve as role models for their peers and others.
As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, we must do more to achieve women’s equal representation in all areas of peace and security.”