Medals for Indonesian sappers on peacekeeping mission

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Two hundred peacekeepers from the MINUSCA Indonesian Engineering Company received UN service medals for contribution to peace and stability in the Central African Republic (CAR).

“You have brought your own legacy to this country’s future,” Deputy Special Representative of Secretary-General Lizbeth Cullity said during the medal ceremony in Bangui attended by MINUSCA Deputy Force Commander Major General Paulo Maia Pereira, Indonesia’s ambassador to Nigeria, Usra Hendra Harahap, and the CAR Minister for Interior and Public Security, Michel Nicaise Nassin.

The role of the military engineering company is critical to mission mandate implementation a MINUSCA statement has it. The peacekeepers helped advance MINUSCA’s primary task to protect civilians providing support for road, bridge and airfield maintenance to ensure mobility of MINUSCA troops in Bangui, Berberati and Bossembele (southwestern CAR). They conducted civil-military co-operation activities to strengthen relations with local communities, and assisted the national energy company ENERCA to re-erect collapsed high voltage electricity pylons plunging the country’s capital into darkness.

Cambodia, Pakistan and Peru also have military engineering units serving with MINUSCA across the CAR.

The seventh engineering company was deployed to the CAR in September 2020. The south-east Asian nation has contributed to UN peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Haiti, Georgia, Liberia, Lebanon, Mozambique, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan.

Commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Parlindungan Simanjuntak, noted his the country’s men and women in uniform were proud of the UN peacekeeping mission and hoped their service would inspire  compatriots to follow in their footsteps.

Cullity said the country’s contribution was invaluable in sustaining peace for millions of Central Africans while expressing gratitude to Indonesia for its “unwavering support” to stability in the CAR since the inception of the mission.

A just-on 400-strong Indonesian contingent comprising police and military peacekeepers is deployed to MINUSCA and forms part of over 2 700 Indonesian peacekeeping troops currently serving in UN peace operations around the world.