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Pakistani peacekeeper to be awarded by UN posthumously

Naek Muhammad Naeem Raza, the slain Pakistani peacekeeper, will be awarded the Dag Hammarskjold Medal in New York on Friday. Naek Muhammad Naeem Reza was shot dead by the armed group in the Republic of Congo last year in 2018.

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Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s representative to the United Nations shared the news on her Twitter account. United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, will award the medal to 119 peacekeeping civilians, military and police. The ceremony held will mark the beginning of the International Day of Peacekeepers.

The peacekeepers who will be awarded are those who lost their lives in 2018 and 2019. Naek Muhammad Naeem Raza was serving in the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in Congo.

He embraced martyrdom when a Pakistani peacekeeping convoy was attacked by a group of armed rebels near Lulimba, 96-Km South-West of Baraka, South Kivu Province. While Raza lost his life in the exchange of fire, Bilal, a Sepoy, was injured. The medal is named after the Senegalese peacekeeper who was killed in Rwanda in 1994, in his efforts of saving countless civilian lives.

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The Secretary-General, in a video message to mark Peacekeepers Day, said: “Today we honour more than one million men and women, who have served as UN peacekeepers since our first mission in 1948. We remember more than 3,800 personnel, who paid the ultimate price.

And we express our deepest gratitude to the 100,000 civilian, police and military peacekeepers deployed around the world today and to the countries that contribute to these brave and dedicated men and women.”

Pakistan is the sixth largest contributor of the uniformed personnel to United Nations Peacekeeping Missions. Currently, 5200 military and police personnel are serving the UN peace mission in the Central African Republic, Congo, Somalia, Mali, Sudan, South Sudan, Cyprus, and Western Sahara.

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