17 Nigerians died on UN missions in 2012

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The UN will on May 29 honour 17 Nigerians who lost their lives while serving in its peacekeeping operations in 2012, according to a statement from the global body on Monday.

They are Staff Sgt. Absalom Umar, Staff Sgt. Emmanuel Abel, Cpl. Julius Emmanuel, Lance Cpl. Bashir Garba and Cpl. Thomas Idu, all of whom lost their lives while serving with the United Nations Mission in Liberia.

Others are  Lt. Martins Anthony, Lance Cpl. Sunday Afolayan, Sgt. Omega Agbalo, Cpl. Suleiman Bako, Cpl. Fali Buluma, Lance Cpl. Oko Idiku, Lance Cpl. Sanusi Jibrin, Lance Cpl. Inalegwu John, Sgt. Birabi Nkpara, Sgt Joseph Ojelade, Lance Cpl. Sarki Samaila and Lance Cpl. Abdullahi Shawai who died while serving with the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur.

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The statement by the UN Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos, said that the Nigerians were among 103 military, police and civilian personnel who would be honoured in commemoration of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.

The statement said that the iday of UN would be observed at UN headquarters in New York and at its field operation offices in different countries.

“This marks the fifth year in a row the United Nations will honour more than 100 Blue Helmets who lost their lives the previous year while serving the cause of peace.

“This sombre milestone is a stark reminder of the risks incurred by individuals who put their lives on the line when they were deployed to UN missions around the world,” it said.

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According to the statement, UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, will perform the wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the “fallen peacekeepers”.

It also said that the late peacekeepers would be honoured with the Dag Hammarskjold medal.

“To meet emerging threats and rise to new challenges, United Nations peacekeeping, is adapting its policies to better fulfil its mandate of ensuring lasting peace in war-torn countries.

“One hundred and three peacekeeping personnel died last year and more than 3,100 have lost their lives during the UN’s 65 years’ history of peacekeeping.

“We salute their bravery and mourn their passing,” it stated


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