Celebration of the International Peacekeeper’s day
Kinshasa, 29 May 2010- Around 400 people attended the event held on Friday May 28 at the Bomoto Youth Centre in Bulumbu district, jointly organized by the MONUC and the United Nations Association of Kinshasa.
Starting the event Olamide Adedeji head of MONUC's Public Information department greeted the audience emphasizing that: "The Congolese population is not excluded from the objective of attaining peace. MONUC will leave one day and it will be even more upon the Congolese to live in peace and to find the mechanisms for durable peace in this country."
Following Ms. Adedeji's speech representatives of the United Nations Association in Kinshasa took the opportunity to explain the UN's role in maintaining peace all over the world and introduced the event's special guests, two former Congolese blue helmets.
The two police commanders, one of them a woman, who had served in the UN mission in Cote d'Ivoire shared memories of their experiences during their time as peacekeepers.
They also appealed to MONUC to continue its effort to train the Congolese police force to uphold peace in the country.
The event concluded with a question and answer session about MONUC and its achievements and shortcomings during the past 10 years.
The festivities continued on Saturday in MONUC's Congo Batiment compound. MONUC staff along with representatives of the Kinshasa Diplomatic Corps and the Civil Society listened to a speech by Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon delivered by DSRSG Leila Zerrougi.
The event continued with a minute of silence in honour of fallen peacekeepers in the DRC and ended with the screening of the film on MONUC's activities over the last ten years.
Matadi.: Peacekeepers Day was celebrated with a conference during which MONUC introduced the mission activities to both teachers and parents. During a debate organized by Congolese television, the guests commented on the contribution of MONUC to the peace process in the DRC and the expectations of the population of Bas Congo.
Kindu: The SG's message, the mandate and the work achieved so far by the Peacekeepers were presented by a theatre troop "Light of Life". In the framework of the Peacekeepers' International Day, the Bolivian contingent gave free consultations to the local population of Lwama and a presentation of cultural dances and gymnastics.
Ecuador Province: The day had started early in the morning with some charity work. A large donation of food and items was offered by the peacekeepers to the Caritas Home for Elderly and at the center for malnourished children at Hospital Wangata in Mbandaka. The MONUC Head of Office recalled the "difficult conditions of the staff working in this hospital" for whom "peace does not mean the absence of war. It also means having a healthy population, well-nourished children, who will go to school tomorrow and will be able to meet the challenges of the country" .
The hundreds of peacekeepers based in the province of Equateur, from Egypt, Ghana, Uruguay, Paraguay, Nigeria, Cameroon, Mali, are helping, on a daily basis, the FARDC to secure the civilian population and restore peace in this Province, recently devastated by the last rebels' attack last April. In Gemena, Gbadolite and Mbandaka, MONUC had to increase its military strength. In memory of the Ghanaian soldier as well as that of all Congolese soldiers and policemen killed on duty, one minute of silence was observed at the end of the football game between MONUC peacekeepers to FARDC/ PNC;
Kisangani The various messages including the SG' message said much about the various activities and involvement of UN peacekeepers, who with the same zeal and in a spirit of peace are risking their lives .
Peacekeepers from Uruguay, Senegal, Bangladesh and military observers participated in a volleyball tournament. A good opportunity for MONUC staff, both civilian and military, to share fair play and music from different cultures.