Fiji’s UN Peacekeepers serving in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Golan have been doing an excellent job in difficult circumstances. This was confirmed to Fiji’s visiting Ambassador by UNDOF’s Force Commander Major-General Thapa.
With close to 300 Fijian soldiers deployed in Golan, Fiji is the largest contributor of troops to UNDOF, where they serve alongside contingents from Nepal, India, Ireland and Netherlands. UNDOF’s Force Commander is from Nepal, the Deputy Force Commander Brigadier-General Hanlon is from Ireland, while the Chief of Staff of UNDOF is Colonel Jone Kalouniwai from Fiji.
Ambassador Peter Thomson, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, visited UNDOF officers yesterday at Camp Ziouani, Golan, for meetings with the UNDOF command and the officers of the Fijian contingent. In his meeting with the UNDOF senior officers, he received a comprehensive briefing on the current security situation within the Area of Separation between Syria and Israel that is monitored by UNDOF. The briefing included plans for UNDOF’s future activities, along with measures required to reinforce delivery of the force’s mandate.
Lieutenant Colonel Leva and the officers of the Fijian contingent hosted Ambassador Thomson to a luncheon during which issues of importance to the contingent were discussed. Ambassador Thomson told the officers that the United Nations had expressed its deepest appreciation for Fiji’s service in UNDOF and that the men and women of the Fijian contingent should be proud of the manner in which they are lifting Fiji’s name higher through their exemplary service in Golan.
He noted the presence of 22 Fijian servicewomen in UNDOF and said they were paving the way for greater involvement of Fijian women in UN Peacekeeping. He also noted the high morale of the Fijian contingent and that all was well with Fiji’s Golan deployment, saying that this was very commendable in light of the security circumstances of the areas with which UNDOF is juxtaposed.
Ambassador Thomson returned to Jordan last night where he is part of the visiting UN delegation examining the work of UN agencies in the country.