UK troops receive medals for UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan
LONDON- According to a press release from the Ministry of Defense, United Kingdom, 85 UK troops from the Engineering and Medical Taskforce in South Sudan have been awarded UN medals, by HM Ambassador Alison Blackburne, in recognition of their unstinting service in South Sudan.
During their tour, according to reports from the ministry, the troops have undertaken projects including support of remedial works to a jetty on the River Nile and helicopter landing sites, flood prevention and other infrastructure improvements, as well as the construction of a temporary field hospital in Bentiu.
The intent behind the construction of the field hospital, as reported, is to provide medical care for 1,800 UN personnel, which is to be staffed by UK military clinicians for the next 12 months. This, no doubt, will enable other military and civilian staff to carry out the work of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), against the challenging operating environment.
While addressing the medal recipients, HM Ambassador Alison Blackburne noted that the troop had achieved something really commendable which has called for this recognition. He however noted that the achievement is not the song but rather the manner and adroitness that surrounded the feat. “It is not only about what you have achieved, but also the way you have achieved it,” he said. Acknowledging that, “You have conducted yourselves with incredible professionalism in a collaborative and humble manner. It is an honour to present you with such well-deserved medals.”
Meanwhile, it is also reported that Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Jason Ainley has now handed over command to Lieutenant Colonel Katie Hislop, who will continue the valuable work of the UK taskforce. In addition, the Medical staff in place will continue to provide high class healthcare whilst the Engineering troops now turn to building the permanent hospital, as well as to UN infrastructure tasks including improving supply routes. This work will enable UNMISS to continue to protect civilians in one of the world’s most fragile nations.
In the remarks of Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Jason Ainley, following the receipt of the medals, he appreciated the Ambassadors, disclosing that they never expected the round of achievement recorded from the start. “It has been an immensely rewarding and humbling deployment. We have achieved far more than anticipated in January. The UK Engineering Taskforce and Medics are now firmly established in UNMISS and we are honoured to be able to receive our hard-earned UN medals from HM Ambassador,” the officer submitted.
Reporter: Ridwan A Olayiwola