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Three Fallen Fijian Peacekeepers Honoured

Three Fijian Peacekeepers who died on duty last year in Baghdad and Golan were honoured posthumous­ly at the United Nations International Day of UN Peacekeepers on Thursday.
29 May 2022 15:59
Three Fallen Fijian Peacekeepers Honoured
UN Secretary-General António Guterres honours fallen UN peacekeepers including three Fijians who were accorded a posthumous honour during United Nations International Day of UN Peacekeepers on Thursday. Photo: United Nations

Three Fijian Peacekeepers who died on duty last year in Baghdad and Golan were honoured posthumous­ly at the United Nations International Day of UN Peacekeepers on Thursday.

25913 Warrant Officer Class 1 Tomasi Daunakamakama Saumadu and OS Jone Saqanaivalu Naqio passed away after a short illness while serving at the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq while WO1 Amenisitai Vatoga died from COVID-19.

Warrant Officer Saumadu was a Senior Non Commis­sioned Officer with the Fijian Guard Unit of UNAMI.

He passed away on March 30, 2021 and was laid to rest on April 26, 2021.

W01 Saumadu joined the RFMF in 1987 and later enrolled with the Fiji School of Nursing where he graduated with a Diploma in Nursing in 2001. He later graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing in Shanghai, China.

He held the position of Nursing Manager at George Mate Medical Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks before his final tour.

He served in various missions in Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq.

OS Naqio passed away on 26 May, 2021 while Regimental Sergeant Major of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Golan, WO1 Vatoga passed away at CZ hospi­tal from COVID-19 on 13 May, 2021.

He was accorded a military funeral in his village in To­gobula, Nadroga.

We remember them

While laying a wreath to honour nearly 4200 fallen sol­diers, UN Secretary-General António Guterres paid trib­ute to peacekeepers who had lost their lives since 1948 and awarded medals to 117 military, Police, and civilian peace­keepers, who lost their lives serving under the UN flag.

Fiji is the 42nd largest contributor of uniformed person­nel to UN Peacekeeping. It currently deploys 347 military and police personnel to the UN peace operations in Abyei, Iraq, Lebanon, the Middle East, South Sudan and Yemen.

In his message, the Secretary-General said: “Today (Thursday) we honour the more than one million women and men who have served as UN peacekeepers since 1948. We pay tribute to the nearly 4,200 heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives in the cause of peace. And we are reminded an age- old truth: peace can never be taken for granted. Peace is the prize. We are deeply grateful to the 87,000 civilian, police and military personnel now serving under the UN flag who are helping to realize the prize of peace worldwide.”

Theme

The theme for this year’s observance day was “People. Peace. Progress. The Power of Partnerships.”

According to the Secretary-General, “Around the globe, UN peacekeepers work with Member States, civil society, humanitarians, the media, the communities they serve and many others, to foster peace, protect civilians, pro­mote human rights and the rule of law and improve the lives of millions of people.”



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