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UN awards service medals to Russian peacekeepers in Sierra Leone

UN awards service medals to Russian peacekeepers in Sierra Leone

Russian pilots and aircrews have received United Nations medals over the weekend for their service with the peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone.

Eighty officers and 14 warrant officers of the Russian Aviation Unit (RAU) received UN medals for serving in the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) in a ceremony held at Lungi Airport on Saturday, 21 July.

The head of UNAMSIL, Ambassador Oluyemi Adeniji, attended the ceremony along with Force Commander Lt. Gen. Daniel Opande, the visiting Russian Ministry of Defence delegation, led by Lt. Gen. Eugenyi Kashitsin, the visiting Ukrainian military delegation, led by Maj. Gen. O. Shalugin and other senior officials from UNAMSIL Headquarters.

The ceremony, which began with a parade of the RAU, was followed by the presentation of the UN medals, which are awarded to military personnel who complete 90 days in the mission.

Ambassador Adeniji then addressed the peacekeepers, stating that without their immense contributions in providing air transport, the significant progress that UNAMSIL had made in the peace process would not have been possible. Ambassador Adeniji also praised the Russian Government for providing both personnel and aircraft to UNAMSIL, thus setting an example for other Security Council members to follow.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian delegation on Friday paid a courtesy call to Force Commander Lt. Gen. Opande. The group is in Sierra Leone to visit Ukrainian peacekeepers serving under UNAMSIL.