Nigeria: Peacekeeping - UN Recognises Nigerian Police Officer

30 October 2020

Of the 1,300 UN policewomen deployed in UN peacekeeping operations, 21 were nominated for the award.

Catherine Ugorji of the Nigerian Police and serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has been selected by the UN as one of two runners-up for the prestigious UN Woman Police Officer of the Year award for 2020.

Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, in a statement by Oluseyi Soremekun, the National Information Officer of the UN System in Nigeria, said through both her words and actions, UN Police Officer Ugorji exemplifies the best of UN policing.

Of the 1,300 UN policewomen deployed in UN peacekeeping operations, 21 were nominated for the award.

Mrs Ugorji joined the Nigerian Police in 2003 and served as a criminal investigator from the local to regional level, Child Protection Officer, Divisional Crime Officer up to Acting Deputy Commander of the Ogudu Police Division in Lagos.

The UN said 1,300 UN policewomen deployed in UN peacekeeping operations, 21 were nominated for the award and Chief Inspector Doreen Malambo of Zambia, serving with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), would receive the award.

The award would be presented during a virtual ceremony presided over by Mr Lacroix on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Also, Luis Carrilho, UN Police Advisor, congratulated Ugorji for being chosen as a runner-up and described her leadership of "three Formed Police Units(FPU) in Gao" as remarkable.

"Catherine 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," Carrilho said.

Mrs Ugorji , a chief superintendent of police, was commended for her work to extend the outreach of the FPU to the Ansongo area, "close to the Mali-Niger-Burkina Faso border area, where terrorists and spoilers of the Malian peace agreement are increasing their influence."

It was revealed in the statement that her support for the joint operations with the Malian police, gendarmerie and National Guard have helped to ensure the security of the local population.

The UN Woman Police Officer of the Year award was established in 2011 to recognise the exceptional contributions of female officers to UN peacekeeping and to promote the empowerment of women.

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