Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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Top UN gender award for SA soldier

Top UN award for SA soldierA South African soldier will tomorrow (Wednesday) be named United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year.

Major Seitebatso Pearl Block of the SA Army’s 46 SA Brigade will receive the accolade during the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference currently underway in Vancouver, Canada.

Block was commissioned as an officer in 2007 and has completed two tours of duty in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Her first tour was in 2010 when she was an information operation officer for MONUSCO, the world body’s single largest peacekeeping mission. Her second tour saw her working as a planner for the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), still the only component of any UN peacekeeping mission given an offensive mandate.

According to a statement issued by the Defence and Military Veterans Ministry, Block is “hailed for developing a number of strategic projects adopted and launched by MONUSCO”.

During her term as information operations officer she worked with different MONUSCO sections including DDRRR (disarmament, demobilisation, re-integration, repatriation and resettlement), UNMAS (UN Mine Action Services), PoC (protection of civilians) and gender and child protection.

“She was also instrumental in implementation of a project aimed at reaching out and disseminating information to women’s organisations in far-flung areas of the DRC.”

Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said Block was to be saluted for her hard work and dedication in the DRC.

“Her commitment to the protection of civilians, especially women and children, has been inspiring. As a peace and goodwill ambassador in her own right, she is the epitome of what every member of the SANDF should be. The country is proud of her for flying the South African flag high,” the Minister said.

South Africa, as a troop contributing country to UN peacekeeping, is represented at the conference by a delegation under the leadership of SA Army Chief, Lieutenant General Lindile Yam.


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