Nigerian Policewoman wins UN award for peacekeeping exploits


a Nigerian policewoman on foreign mission in far away Mali was being honoured by the United Nations in recognition of her selfless service simultaneously as her compatriots were being persecuted at home. Chief Superintendent Catherine Ekwutosi Ugorji, a Nigerian police woman serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), was selected by the United Nations as one of two runners-up for the prestigious UN Woman Police Officer of the Year award for 2020.

“Through both her words and actions, United Nations Police Officer Ugorji exemplifies the best of United Nations policing,” said Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix. Only 21 of the 1,300 UN policewomen deployed in UN peacekeeping operations were said to have been nominated for the award with Ugorji emerging among the top three.

The year’s winner, Chief Inspector Doreen Malambo of Zambia, who serves with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), is billed to receive the award during a virtual ceremony presided over by Mr. Lacroix on November 3. Superintendent Rebecca Nnanga of Cameroon, serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), is the other runner-up.

Congratulating Ugorji for being chosen as a runner-up, UN Police Advisor Luis Carrilho, said: “MINUSMA United Nations Police Officer Ugorji’s leadership of three Formed Police Units in Gao has been remarkable, and Catherine (Ugorji) has introduced tactical operations that have been instrumental in reducing crime in the area, in support of the Malian security forces and the host population.

“In addition to this very demanding role, Chief Superintendent Ugorji has worked diligently to improve living conditions for women police officers so they can serve safely and with dignity.”

Deployed to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in 2018, Ugorji was said to have demonstrated exemplary conduct throughout her deployment in Mali where she serves as a Formed Police Unit (FPU) Coordinator in Gao.

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