International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members

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2024 Date25 March 2024
2025 Date25 March 2025

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members in
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International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members serves as a poignant reminder of the risks and sacrifices peacekeeping personnel endure in the pursuit of global peace and security. It allows the international community to honour and pay tribute to those who risked their lives, were detained, or went missing while serving in peacekeeping missions. Significantly, it also helps to draw attention to the vital issue of securing the safety and release of detained peacekeepers and offers an opportunity to renew calls for information about those who are still missing.

The United Nations has often been at the forefront in handling global conflicts, with South Africa playing a very active role in peacekeeping missions. Over the years, several South African peacekeepers have been detained or have gone missing under challenging circumstances. This has made the Observance of Detained and Missing Peacekeepers an issue of high importance to the people of South Africa, reflecting both the nation's commitment to peace and the personal sacrifices made by its citizens in service to this ideal.

In South Africa, the Observance of Detained and Missing Peacekeepers is marked with solemn ceremonies and gatherings to honour the brave individuals. These occasions serve to keep the stories of these persons alive, reminding the nation of the human cost of peacekeeping efforts. While harmonizing with global sentiments, the sincerity of these observances proves the nation's deep respect for peace and those who strive to uphold it. This observance occurs annually on March 25th.

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Facts about this day

  • According to the United Nations (UN), there are more than 14,000 civilians serving in UN peacekeeping operations around the world.
  • This day remembers Alec Collett, a former journalist who was working for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Collett was abducted by armed gunmen in 1985 while helping Palestine refugees in the Middle East. His body was eventually found in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley in 2009.
  • South Africa is an active participant in UN missions: South Africa has contributed thousands of its soldiers to peacekeeping missions around the world, including peacekeeping forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and Burundi.
  • There are risks involved: Detainment and disappearances of peacekeepers remind us that UN peacekeeping is a dangerous and difficult mission. Whether from South Africa or elsewhere, peacekeepers frequently work in unstable and hostile regions where their personal safety can be at risk.

Top things to do in South Africa for this observance


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