International Peace Support Training Center, Nairobi, Kenya, Sunday 29 May 2022 –  His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has participated in the International United Nations Day for Peacekeepers in Nairobi, Kenya and paid tribute to Kenyan military personnel who lost their lives during their tour of duties as United Nations Peacekeepers in Sierra Leone, UNAMSIL.

Late Corporal Jeremiah Obuya, Late Corporal Evans Kamande, Late Private Robert Wanyama, and Late Private Khamis Yunis all died while serving UNAMSIL in Sierra Leone between 1999 to 2006.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta-ala grant them forgiveness and eternal peace. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. On behalf of the nation of Sierra Leone, we eulogise their names with deep gratitude. We thank their families with great appreciation. We thank the nation of Kenya for offering the lives of those heroes for the sake of peace in Sierra Leone.

On this International Day of Peacekeeping, may I request a moment of dedicated silence and reflection to remember the ultimate sacrifices of fallen peacekeepers and their families all over the world?

“I am particularly pleased, as President of Sierra Leone, to be able to travel to Kenya and formally say ‘thank you’ to the commanders, officers, men and women of KENBATT contingents deployed to Sierra Leone,” he said.

President Julius Maada Bio also particularly commended the President and people of the Republic of Kenya for their great contributions to attaining the broader vision of the AU Agenda 2063, adding that that agenda was working towards ‘an integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena’.

“We can only make great progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in a peaceful world where multilateralism, international cooperation, and international partnerships underlie our every effort. The contributions, voices, and views of 1.2 billion Africans must be considered in all such international dialogues. It is in that regard that we are pursuing the reform of the United Nations based on the African Common Position,” he concluded.

The Day, today 29 May, offered a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilian personnel’s invaluable contributions to the work of the organisation and to honour nearly 4,200 peacekeepers who had lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 135 last year alone.

Peacekeeping has helped save countless lives and brought peace and stability to many countries over the decades. The theme for the 2022 International Day for UN Peacekeepers was “People. Peace. Progress. The Power of Partnerships.”