Three Fijian peacekeepers posthumously honoured for ultimate sacrifice

Fiji’s Permanent Representative to United Nations (PRUN), Ambassador Satyendra Prasad with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers at the UN Headquarters in New York, last year. Picture: SUPPLIED

Three Fijian Peacekeepers were posthumously awarded the Dag Hammarskjold Medal in 2020.

The Dag Hammarskjold Medal is posthumously awarded to honour peacekeepers that have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of peace.

According to the Fijian Government, the three peacekeepers are:

  • The late Warrant Officer Class II Kolinio Mocevakaca who died while serving with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq;
  • Corporal Sakiusa Vakalala who died serving in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force in Syria; and
  • The late Seniloli Tabuatausole – a civilian staff with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya who died as a result of a car bomb attack in Libya.

The Government said Fijian peacekeepers had continuously served around the world since 1978.

It stated that more than 20,000 Fijians had participated in United Nations peacekeeping, and 64 Fijians had paid the ultimate sacrifice.

In 2019, 83 United Nations Peacekeepers died in the service of peace.

The theme for this year’s International Day for United Nations Peacekeepers is, ‘Women in Peacekeeping – A Key to Peace.’

In his address to commemorate International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said this showed the “central role” women play in peace operations. There needs to be “more done to achieve women’s equal representation in all areas of peace and security,” as only 6 per cent of peacekeepers are women today.

He said peacekeepers were facing “one of their greatest challenges ever, delivery on their peace and security mandate whilst helping countries to address the COVID-19 pandemic”.

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