14 UNPOL officers serving in the Police Advisory Unit of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) were honoured with the United Nations Medal on 1st February 2023 at a medal parade ceremony in Khartoum. The medals are recognized as a testament to their bravery and commitment to the cause of peace and security.
“Being awarded with a UN medal is an honour. It is a token of appreciation for your efforts for the United Nations but, most of all, for your efforts to support the people of the country you are serving. Somehow, you might also look upon the medal as a symbol of your own sacrifice by being away from your families, your friends, and your countries for a long time,” said Terje Loeland, UNITAMS Police Commissioner.
The ceremony, which was the second medal parade ceremony held at UNITAMS after the inaugural ceremony in December, was an opportunity for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan and Head of UNITAMS to recall that “the goal of UNITAMS is to assist in the transition to a democratic governance in Sudan. This includes not only political transition but also the alignment of state institutions with the democratic political system. A crucial aspect of this effort is the reform and capacity building of the Sudanese Police Force, as the police often are the most visible manifestation of the government’s presence and service to the people.”
“On this occasion, I would like to applaud the positive engagement between the Mission and Sudanese Police Force, and the joint efforts being undertaken, including with the collaboration of other UN agencies, funds, and programs in Sudan. The presence of Sudanese Police Force representatives here today is a testament of this collaboration,” added Volker Perthes.
The 15 police officers, seven women and eight men, are based in Khartoum and in field offices throughout Sudan. They provide advice to the Sudanese Police Force and conduct training on sexual and gender-based violence, community policing, accountability and investigation. Some of them are also deployed to the Permanent Ceasefire Committee in line with the role envisaged for the United Nations in the Juba Peace Agreement.
Speaking on behalf of all recipients, Iyad Al Jarrah, Capacity-Building Coordinator, said that “the United Nations medal serves as a reminder of the tremendous responsibility that we all bear as representatives of the UN Police, and the important role that we play in promoting peace and security around the world. But this medal is not just about the past; it is about the future as well. It is about the tremendous work that still needs to be done, and the challenges that lie ahead. It is a call to action, a reminder that we must continue to strive to contribute for the Sudan where peace and security prevail, where human rights are respected and where the most vulnerable are protected.”
What do the colours of the UNITAMS medal that was created in October 2022 mean?
Two navy blue outer bands along with white bands represent the Nile (Blue and White), a symbol of sustainability. The light blue band in the centre represents the UN presence in Sudan. Three smaller bands of red, white, and green represent the colours of the national flag of Sudan and symbolize peace, progress, and prosperity.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).