Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
United Nations service medals were awarded to 24 Fijian police officers in Monrovia, Liberia, on 13 August. The officers are part of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) that is assisting the restructure of the Liberian National Police following prolonged civil war in this West African country.
The medals were presented by UNMIL Police Commissioner Gautam Swarang at a ceremony in the UN compound in Monrovia. Also officiating was Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson. In his address to the ceremony Ambassador Thomson thanked Commissioner Swarang for his leadership of the Fiji contingent in Liberia and commended the medal awardees for maintaining Fiji's excellent reputation in UN Peacekeeping.
The contingent leader, SSP Hari Chand, said that in the eight months the current contingent had been serving in Liberia they had shown excellent team spirit and dedication to their work. He said he was very proud of their attitude and their multi-skill ability.
The citation for the United Nations Medal states that the officers concerned have completely met their requirements of service. Commissioner Gautam told the Fijians they had set high standards and should take great satisfaction from the progress they were helping to bring to Liberia.
He said that UNMIL was focussed on the upcoming national referendum and general elections as they were all-important transition points for Liberia. He reminded the officers present that UNMIL's Police Force would have a pivotal role to play in these electoral events.
Many of the Fijian officers attending the ceremony had to travel in from distant rural townships in order to receive their medals and congregate with their fellow Fijians. In celebration of the awards, a poolside Bula Night was held for the Fiji contingent and the wider UNMIL family at the UN compound in Monrovia. The celebration was organized by Colonel Nauludole Mataitini of Lomanikoro, Rewa. Colonel Mataitini has been stationed in Monrovia since 2010, where he serves as the UN's Chief Security Adviser for Liberia.
Caption for picture: Fiji's UN Medal recipients with UNMIL Police Commissioner Gautam, Ambassador Thomson and UN guest officials.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji