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Two Indians among 115 UN personnel honoured for sacrifice in line of duty

Two Indians among 115 UN personnel honoured for sacrifice in line of duty

United Nations: An Indian police officer deployed to the UN mission in Congo and a consultant with the UN development programme killed in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash are among 115 UN peacekeepers and staff honoured by the global organisation for their sacrifice in the line of duty.

Police Officer Jitender Kumar serving in the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and Shikha Garg, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) consultant attached with India's Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, along with 113 UN personnel and staff, lost their lives in the service of peace between January 2018 and March 2019.

Garg was among four Indians who died when the Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed after taking off from Addis Ababa in March this year. She was on her way to attend a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) meeting in Nairobi.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, President of the General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa, President of the Security Council, Indonesian Ambassador to the UN Dian Triansyah Djani and Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support Atul Khare along with top UN officials and Peacekeeping personnel paid tribute to those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty at the solemn ceremony Monday. Names of all the 115 UN personnel and staff members, 103 of them African peacekeepers, were read out during the service, which was attended by diplomats and family members of the fallen.

Guterres said it was a "sad reminder of the often-perilous nature of our work" but also "testament to the commitment of the thousands of women and men...who are prepared to risk all to promote peace and provide assistance to some of the world's most vulnerable and needy people.

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