The United Nations has awarded the Dag Hammarskjold medal, posthumously, to Zambia Police Service Inspector Nathan Mutamfu, who lost his life on a UN peacekeeping mission.
Mr. Mutamfu died on 23 February 2015 while he was assigned to the United Nations Mission in Liberia.
The fallen peacekeeper from Zambia was among the 128 who posthumously received the Dag Hammarskjold medal at a solemn ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York during commemorations of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.
Military Advisor at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the UN, Brigadier General Erick Mwewa received the medal on behalf of the Mr. Mutamfu family.
Zambia is a long-standing troop and police contributing country to UN peacekeeping operations.
Zambia currently contributes a total 908 military and police personnel in seven UN peace operations, with the vast majority serving in the Central African Republic.
More than 105,000 uniformed personnel from 124 troop and police contributing countries currently serve under the blue flag, along with 18,000 international and national civilian staff and United Nations Volunteers.
The General Assembly established the International Day of UN Peacekeepers in 2002, in tribute to all men and women serving in peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.
The General Assembly designated 29 May as the Day for commemorations because it was the date in 1948 when the United Nations’ first peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), began operations.
Therefore, UN peacekeeping operations, UN Information Centres and other UN offices around the world will observe the Day on or around 29 May.
The Dag Hammarskjöld Medal is a posthumous award given by the United Nations (UN) to military personnel, police, or civilians who lose their lives while serving in a United Nations peacekeeping operation. The medal is named after Dag Hammarskjöld, the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, who died in a plane crash in what is now Zambia in September 1961.
The award of Dag Hammarskjöld is an annual event that takes place on the 29th of May, which is the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.
Last year 2015, two Indian peacekeepers have been chosen posthumously for United Nation’s Dag Hammarskjold Medal. They are Lance Naik Nand Ram and Raju Joseph. Both of them were among the 126 police, military and civilian personnel who were posthumously awarded a prestigious UN medal.