Monday, June 2, 2014 – The United Nations has honoured two fallen Zambian peacekeepers with the Dag Hammarskjöld medal for their gallantly.
Major Alfred Richard Banda and Chief Inspector Ebert Sianyona died last year while serving with the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
Zambia currently contributes 142 military and police personnel to six United Nations peacekeeping operations, with the largest number serving in Darfur, according to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, in a message marking the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, said 106 peacekeepers died in 2013 while serving in UN operations worldwide.
“We mourn the passing of every one of these courageous individuals. We grieve with their friends and families and we recommit ourselves to ensure that their contributions to the cause of peace will never be forgotten,” the UN chief said.
Mr Ban officiated at the wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the fallen peacekeepers.
Zambia UN Mission Military Adviser, Brigadier General Erick Mwewa, attended the solemn ceremony on Thursday, May 29.
The medals are named after the late Secretary-General of the UN, Mr Dag Hammarskjöld, who died in a plane crash in Ndola, Zambia.
The UN General Assembly established the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers in 2002 to pay tribute to all men and women serving in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
The General Assembly designated 29 May, which is the date in 1948 when the first United Nations peacekeeping mission – the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) – began operations in Palestine.
CHIBAULA D. SILWAMBA (Mr.)
First Secretary for Press and Public Relations
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations
Major Alfred Richard BANDA – Date of Incident: 11 October 2013
C/Inspector Ebert SIANYONA – Date of Incident: 22 May 2013