SA ma­jor hon­oured for work in DRC

Cape Times - - WORLD NEWS - Lisa Isaacs

‘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.

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