SANDF members in the DRC receive UN medals

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Members of 10 South African Infantry Battalion and Tactical Intelligence Unit (TIU III) deployed in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been awarded with United Nations service medals.

A parade ceremony was held on 28 September at Republic of South Africa Quick Reaction Force III Sports Field, near Beni Airport, North Kivu Province, to recognise the services of the South African members serving with the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) Force Intervention Brigade.

SA National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers were pinned with the United Nations medals inscribed with the words “in service of peace” by MONUSCO Force Headquarters Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Abram Nkhabu Nthejane (SANDF).

Nthejane was the main functionary and presided over the parade ceremony, reported Lieutenant Rekkie Letsoalo, Republic of South Africa Battalion Public Information Officer. In his address, the Chief of Staff said to the recipients on the parade, “the United Nations medal is the highest military honour for peacekeepers. This United Nations medal does not come cheap. You demonstrated valour, heroism, courage, and discipline. Today MONUSCO acknowledge the excellent, committed and brave service you rendered to the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the mission area as peacekeepers.”

The parade saw the presence of then-General Officer Commanding Joint Operations Divisions, Major General Sandile Goodwill Hlongwa, Defence Attaché to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Colonel K Nobaza, and attachés from both Zambia and Zimbabwe.

That evening Hlongwa addressed the South African soldiers and spoke strongly against ill-discipline, and put more emphasis on zero tolerance to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) and the need to take care of the prime mission equipment.

10 South African Infantry Battalion and Tactical Intelligence Unit started their tour of duty in December 2022, conducting operations, including patrols, targeted offensive operations, establishing temporary bases far from the Battalion Headquarters and engaged in civil military coordination including medical care service, water supply and community work.