Peacekeepers from Togo, Poland and Croatia decorated
Abeche, 15 August 2009 ---The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Victor Angelo, presided over two medal parades that took place on 14 and 15 August 2009 to recognize blue helmets from Togo, Poland and Croatia and their service for peace. Ceremonies took place in Abeche for the Togolese contingent and in Iriba for the Polish and Croatian peacekeepers.
A total of 200 Togolese soldiers were decorated in Abeche while 184 Polish and 15 Croatians were awarded the UN military medal in Iriba. Togo contributed 450 soldiers in total with 200 currently deployed in Abeche, and the remaining 250 in the Central African Republic northeastern town of Birao. The Polish contingent is made up of 320 soldiers with 15 Croatians working alongside in Iriba.
During the ceremony in Abeche, Force Commander General Kandji of Senegal highlighted the ultimate sacrifice of MINURCAT's first casualty, a Togolese soldier, who died in a shooting incident on 7 April 2009, just five days after his arrival in the mission area. Saturday's Iriba ceremony in northeastern Chad aptly coincided with celebrations of Polish Army Day.