South-african peacekeepers are awarded un medals. Photo MONUSCO/Force
Eight hundred (800) South African National Defense Force members, including 100 female soldiers, were issued with the United Nations Medals after 12-month service within the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Congo (MONUSCO), as part of the Mission’s Force Intervention Brigade (FIB).
A Parade Ceremony was held on the July 1, 2020, near Beni Airport in Mavivi, North Kivu province in Eastern DRC; it was graced by the presence of the Battle Group Commanders.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, safety protocols guidelines such as social distancing, masks wearing and hygienic protocols were put in place and adhered too by the attendees. only the selected members of the Battalion were presented with the UN / MONUSCO Medals during the medal parade as it was not possible for all of them to receive the Medals.
The Commanding Officer of the South-African battalion (RSABATT 2), Lt Col Fanisile Kandile highlighted the successes of the Force Intervention Brigade Operations, mainly the joint Operations conducted by the South-African battalion with the Congolese national Army Soldiers (FARDC) as well as the unilateral Operations conducted by the South African Soldiers successfully.
Maj Gen Patrick Njabulo Dube, MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade Commander was the guest of honor and presiding official of the Medal parade who awarded the medals to the well-deserving South African National Defense Force members for doing a great peacekeeping job in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the past 12 months. He hailed the South-African battalion for holding the ground and for showing bravery against the fearsome Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and any other Illegal Armed Group.
In closing, the Force Intervention Brigade Commander thanked all the members of the South African Battalion for their outstanding service to the Mission which gave him the honor of presenting them with the UN medals.
The awardees representing the other peacekeepers in the medal parade were very proud and honored to be in the service of peace. One of them said: “It is a long stretch for us being here for over 12 months. The medal also marks the end of the tour of duty for a peacekeeper.”