By Ma Yichong and Yu Lei
DARFUR, SUDAN, July 16 (ChinaMil) -- The 140 members of China’s first peacekeeping helicopter detachment were awarded the United Nations (UN) Peace Medals of Honor during an medal-awarding ceremony held at a camp in El Fasher, Darfur, Sudan, on July 15.
Accompanied by Chen Wenlong, captain of the helicopter detachment, Mr. Jeremiah Mamabolo, Joint Special Representative of the African Union/United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), inspected the phalanx formed by the Chinese peacekeepers and their helicopters.
During the ceremony, an UN official read the order of commendation: “The UNAMID Force Commander has decided to award the UN Peace Medal to the 140 members of the Chinese peacekeeping helicopter detachment who have excelled in their given duties.”
Afterwards, Mamabolo, and Lt. Gen. Leonard Muriuki Ngondi, Force Commander of the UNAMID, awarded the medals to the Chinese peacekeepers.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mamabolo praised the outstanding performance of the Chinese peacekeeping helicopter detachment in promoting peace and humanitarian assistance in Darfur.
He said he was very proud of the Chinese peacekeeping force that has become a role model for other UNAMID peacekeeping forces and built deep friendship with various UNAMID departments as well as the local people.
Chen Wenlong said as of today, China’s peacekeeping helicopter detachment has flown approximately 800 hours, transported nearly 5,000 peacekeeping personnel and almost 200 tons of materials and equipment in total, covering all 15 mission locations in Darfur.
With first-class standards of work and performance, the Chinese peacekeepers have made outstanding contributions to the peaceful reconstruction of Darfur and won high praise from the UNAMID, the local government and the local people, he added.