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Monday, March 31, 2008
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Bangladeshi peacekeepers get UN medal

Bangladeshi troops serving with the international peacekeeping force in Ivory Coast has been decorated with the United Nations' peacekeeping medal.

At present 2,728 Bangladeshi soldiers are serving in UN peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast, a country in West Africa.They have been on the current mission for over six months now.

General Marcel Fernand Amoussou, the Force Commander of the United Nations Operation in Ivory Coast (ONUCI) presided over a medal ceremony honouring the Bangladeshi contingent in Daloa, 380km away from capital city of Abidjan, on March 26.

Bangladesh's Brigadier General Mustafa Kamal Khan, the commander of UN operation in Sector West, expressed the contingent's pride in receiving the medal on the Independence Day of the country.

He also said that the contingent was proud to participate in the resolution of the conflict in Ivory Coast and expressed their resolve to collectively defend the United Nations mandate for peace in the country.

General Amoussou, on behalf of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Y J Choi, thanked Daloa's political and administrative authorities, including its traditional and religious leaders, for their continuing support to the foreign peacekeeping forces. He also thanked the Bangladesh units deployed there.

Bangladesh first entered the family of "Blue Helmets" in 1988, and since then has provided over 60,000 soldiers to various missions.

There are currently more than 9,600 Bangladeshi soldiers and police operating in 11 different peacekeeping operations, making Bangladesh one of the top contributors of uniformed personnel to the UN.

Bangladesh provides one third of the troop strength in ONUCI.

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