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Pakistani troops awarded UN Medals in Congo

30 November, 2006

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ISLAMABAD: In recognition of meritorious services rendered towards restoration of peace and humanitarian assistance, Pakistan Army Troops serving under UN Flag in Congo were awarded UN Medals in a colorful ceremony held at Kavumu Airport in South Kivu Province of Democratic Republic of Congo.

Force Commander (FC), Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye who was the chief guest on this occasion awarded the UN Medals to Pakistani Troops. Addressing the parade, Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye, appreciated Pakistan's efforts and sacrifices for peace around the globe under the UN flag since 1960.

While highlighting the contributions of the Pakistani Contingent, he said that it played a pivotal role in maintaining peace in South Kivu which improved the security situation tremendously, thus allowing the successful conduct of a historic referendum and elections in South Kivu with the highest turn out in entire DR Congo.

He paid rich tributes to Pakistan Contingent for social and humanitarian efforts that made the difference in the life of communities by providing clean drinking water, repair and maintenance of roads and bridges and medical assistance.

Force Commander conveyed the deep appreciation of UN Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan, his Special Representative Mr Willaim Lacy Swing, and the international community to Pakistani Contingent for the outstanding task done in South Kivu for the noble cause of peace.

Addressing the large gathering on the occasion, Brigadier Maqsood Ahmed, Commander Pakistan Contingent - II highlighted the security environments and challenges faced by Pakistan Contingent - II in South Kivu Province at the time of taking over responsibilities . While describing the contributions of Pakistan Contingent - II he spoke about major operations undertaken in collaboration with FARDC (Congolese Army) against Foreign Armed Groups, extensive support provided to the civil sections of MONUC to address the humanitarian issues in the province, CIMIC (Civil Military Coordination) activities carried out to win the hearts and minds of local population, FARDC training to enhance their operational capability and administrative support provided to them during and after operations to enhance their sustenance. He mentioned that the hallmark of the year was the conduct of free and fair elections in South Kivu Province with highest turn out in DR Congo.

Earlier, a smartly turned out Contingent of Pakistan Army led by Lieutenant Colonel Amir Abbasi presented the guard of honour to GOC Eastern Division, and FC on arrival. The ceremony started with the recitation from Holy Quran followed by speeches by Commander Pakistan Contingent - II and FC.

Later Force Commander, General Officer Commanding Eastern Division, Governor South Kivu Province, Head of Office MONUC South Kivu and Honorary Councilor of Pakistan in DR Congo decorated the Pakistani Troops with UN medals. After the award of medals, the parade marched past and saluted the Chief Guest and other dignitaries.

The ceremony was attended by GOC Eastern Division, Major General Patrick Cammaert, Mr Deogratias Buhamba Hamba, Governor South Kivu, Mr. Alfa Sow Head of Office MONUC South Kivu, Mr. Aslam Rawji, Honorary Councilor of Pakistan in DR Congo and a large number of guests including military, MONUC staff, other UN agencies, NGOs, locals and FARDC (Congolese Army) representatives.

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