Birkenhead RSA


Obverse: The United Nations global projection emblem, above which are the letters "UN".

Reverse: Plain, with the legend "IN THE SERVICE OF PEACE".

Size: 35mm in diameter.

Ribbon: 35mm wide, the ribbon for both these medals are the same, having a wide light blue centre stripe, outside of which are equal sized green, white and blue stripes. Ninety days of service in the Mission was necessary to qualify for award of the medal.

Suspension: The ribbon is threaded through a 12mm diameter ring, which passes through a loop fixed to the top of the piece. The ring will move forwards and backwards.

United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone. After a few years of civil war, in June 1998,the Secretary-General reported to the Council (S/1998/486) that the priority task in Sierra Leone was to promote stability and security by disarming and demobilising former combatants.

The United Nations could render immediate assistance by deploying a limited number of unarmed military observers. The Security Council welcomed this proposal and established UNOMSIL for an initial period of six months.

UNOMSIL's purpose is to monitor the military and security situation in the country as a whole, as security conditions permit; monitor the disarmament and demobilisation of former combatants concentrated in secure areas of the country; assist in monitoring respect for international humanitarian law, including at disarmament and demobilisation sites, where security permit; advise, in co-ordination with other international efforts, the Government of Sierra Leone and local police officials on police practise, training, re-equipment and recruitment, in particular on the need to respect internationally accepted standards of policing in democratic societies.

On 22 October 1999, the Security Council authorised the establishment of United Nations Mission In Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) by its resolution 1270 (1999), a new and much larger mission with a maximum of 6,000 military personnel, including 260 military observers, to assist the Government and the parties in carrying out provisions of the Lome peace agreement. At the same time, the Council decided to terminate UNOMSIL.

New Zealand contributed military observers to both UNOMSIL and UNAMSIL between 1998 and 2005.

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