Dar es Salaam 29 May 2014, The Tanzania peoples’ Defense Forces, Tanzania Police Force and the UN Information Center in Dar es Salaam commemorated the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on Thursday the 29th of May at the Mnazi Mmoja Heroes Grounds in Dar es Salaam in a solemn wreath laying ceremony.
The theme for this years’ commemoration was, “United Nations Peacekeeping: A Force for Peace. A Force for Change. A Force for the Future.” As the world is confronted with new challenges, UN peacekeeping is evolving to meet them, helping more people than ever through some of the most destructive conflicts.
Hon. Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, Minister of Defense and National Service in a medal parade to honor fallen peacekeepers.
The Guest of Honor was the Honorable Minister of Defense and National Service, Dr. Hussein Mwinyi. He led in the laying of wreaths to honor the fallen peacekeepers. Also present at the event was the Acting Resident Coordinator of the United Nations and the Unicef Representative in Tanzania-Dr. Jama Gulaid, The Representative from the Tanzania Peoples’Defense ForcesTPDF, General Officer Commanding, Major General Hassan Vuai Chema, the Deputy Police Commissioner and Chief of Special Operations, DCP Simon Sirro, defense Attaches and members of the diplomatic corps.
This year’s event was particularly important to Tanzania because it lost 10 peacekeepers last year which was a high number compared to the 122 troop contributing countries. The fallen peacekeepers including ; Corporal Oswald Paul Chaula, Lieutenant, Rajabu Ahmed Mlima, Lieutenant Rajabu Ahmed, Corporal Mohamed C. Mpandana, Khatibu Shaaban Mshindo,Photunatus Wilbard Msofe, Barnabas Munga,Rodney Gido Ndungur,Sergeant, Shaibu Shehe Othuman and Private, Peter Muhiri Werema were awarded the Dag Hammerskjold medal posthumously in New York by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
Guest of Honor, Dr. Hussein Mwinyi congratulates UN Peacekeepers for their professional contribution to global peace during UN Peacekeepers Day on may 29
Last year also marked Tanzania’s deployment of the Force Intervention Brigade which joined the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo and it helped the Government defeat the M23 rebels who had a record of terrorizing civilians in Eastern DRC.
Speaking at the event, The Guest of Honor Dr. Mwinyi said, “Tanzania is proud to be among the Troop Contributing Countries (TCC). I am glad to inform you that, we have to-date contributed about 2, 259 peacekeepers in Darfur (UNAMID); Lebanon (UNFIL), Abyei (UNISFA), South Sudan (UNMISS) as well as in DRC (MONUSCO). We will not hesitate to contribute more where possible, to ensure continuity of this noble duty.”
He reaffirmed that, “The Government of Tanzania will continue to render its support in fulfilling this noble cause of the peacekeepers.”
Dr. Jama Gulaid addressing peacekeepers.
On his part, The Acting UN Resident Coordinator, Dr Jama read a statement on behalf of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in which he said in part, “United Nations Peacekeeping is modernizing to ensure that it can tackle tomorrow’s peace and security challenges. It is developing new technologies such as unarmed, unmanned and aerial vehicles, refining its practices to better protect civilians, and boosting the representation of women among its ranks while strengthening its partnership with regional organizations”
Prior to leaving the venue, former UN peacekeepers were congratulated for their good work and for having been awarded the Dag Hammarskjöld medal.
Tanzanian female police network members entertain the crowd.
The Tanzania police women female network along with a young artiste named Zainab Abdallah sung and recited poems to honor UN Peacekeepers. Prior to the event, a week-long media campaign was pursued by several media houses whereby three Brigadier General’s represented TPDF and three Assistant Superintends of Police represented the Tanzania police force. The UN Information Center information officers also participated in the media discussion programmes.
The International Day of UN peacekeepers was authorized by the UN General Assembly Resolution 57/129 in 2002. The day is marked on 29th May each year to pay tribute to “all men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations Peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage and to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives n the cause of peace.