One-hundred and ten members of the 3rd Egyptian Combat Convoy Company were awarded the United Nations medal on 20 December 2022, as a tangible recognition of the peacekeepers’ efforts and achievements.
The Egyptian company, based in Mopti, Mali, has participated in many missions since its deployment to the Center region in 2018; successfully completing 43 logistic convoys that have delivered medical aid and rations to blue helmets throughout the country.
However, these four years of service have not been without challenges, reminded Colonel Selim SHREEF, Commander of the Company, during the event on 20 December 2022. Due to the dangerous nature of their work and the complex situation in Mali, the company has tragically experienced 5 casualties due to Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) throughout 2022.
Their lost brothers-in-arms were solemnly remembered during the ceremony, and the company’s valour was recognized by MINUSMA Force Commander Lieutenant-General Cornelis MATTHIJSSEN, who acknowledged 2022 had been a challenging year in a high IED-threat environment for all units deployed within MINUSMA.
“As a Combat Convoy Company you were faced with a very difficult task, but also an important one. You facilitate the movement of convoys, and thus the logistics towards our colleagues in more remote camps. You ensure their materials, their fuel, their food, their livelihoods. And that makes you indispensable,” said General MATTHIJSSEN. “You faced this challenging task in Mali, losing five of your colleagues in the course of your tour,” he added.
Despite the obstacles, the company has shown dedication to overcome them in order to accomplish its mission. It has effectively implemented intensive training programs to improve convoy movement techniques, which will protect the lives of their peacekeepers as they continue to serve in Mali. Over the last few months, the company has also enhanced its IED search and detect capabilities and developed careful maintenance schedules for their vehicles, to ensure they are able to continue working in the service of peace and apply best practices to the benefit of the force and the mission.
Following a fitness and martial arts display that highlighted the rigorous training undergone by all company members, an awards ceremony honoured the 110 members of this company for their bravery and dedication to peace.
The United Nations medal is an international decoration awarded by the UN to military personnel who are in the service of the United Nations.