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UNITED NATIONS, Nov 20 (APP): Two hundred and sixtythree Pakistani peacekeepers based in Bouake, the second largest city in the west African state of Ivory Coast, were honoured at a United Nations medal parade ceremony on Thursday, according to a message received at UN Headquarters in New York.
The impressive ceremony was presided over by the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Ivory Coast, Mrs Aichatou Mindaoudou. She was accompanied by the Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Operation in Ivory Coast (UNOCI), Brigadier-General M’Bemba Moussa Keita.
“I would like to thank this contingent of Pakistani peacekeepers for its contribution to restoring peace and stability in Côte d’Ivoire (the French name for the country),” the UNOCI leader told the peacekeepers.
“You have worked hard to provide humanitarian support and material support to people,” Mrs. Mindaoudou added, while congratulating the recipients.
She urged them to strictly abide by the ‘Code of Conduct’ of the United Nations, as they have always done and continue to work for the implementation of the mandate of UNOCI with professionalism and dedication.
The Commander of the Pakistani contingent, Lieutenant Colonel Shahid Hussain Abid, reaffirmed the commitment of the Pakistani contingent to serve peace in Ivory Coast. “We will continue our humanitarian efforts for the population.”
Recalling Pakistan’s tradition of participation in peacekeeping,he said, “We are one of the leading troop contributors in the world and our commitment to peace goes back more than half a century.”
The Pakistani contingent consists of an infantry battalion and one formed police unit (FPU), military observers and some staff officers.
The ceremony was marked by a military parade and traditional dances of Pakistan.