SA major honoured for work in DRC
‘As a peace and goodwill ambassador in her own right, she is the epitome of what every member of the SANDF should be’
SANDF Major Seitebatso Pearl Block is to be presented with the UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award today.
The award specifically recognises her work on a project reaching out to women’s organisations in remote parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
It’s a general acknowledgement of the dedication and effort of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles of UN Security Council Resolution 1325. The presentation will take place at the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference in Vancouver, Canada, the largest gathering of defence ministers dedicated to UN peacekeeping.
An officer since 2007, Block has been deployed twice to the DRC with the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission (Monusco), first in 2010 as an information operations officer, and again last year as a force intervention brigade planner. She was hailed for developing strategic projects adopted and launched by Monusco.
During her tenure as an information operations officer, she worked with various Monusco sections such as disarmament, demobilisation, repatriation, reintegration, resettlement, UN Mine Action Services, the protection of civilians, and gender and child protection.
Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula congratulated Block on receiving the award.
“Major Block must be commended for her hard work and dedication while serving in the DRC. Her commitment to the protection of civilians, especially women and children, has been inspiring. As a peace and goodwill ambassador in her own right, she is the epitome of what every member of the South African National Defence Force should be.
“The country is proud of her for flying the South African flag high,” said MapisaNqakula.
SA Army Chief, Lieutenant-General Lindile Yam, will lead the South African delegation at the ministerial conference on behalf of MapisaNqakula.