AIMEE GHISLAINE MOUDIKI : "As a woman, I make myself useful to the society by helping to save lives"
My name is Aimée Ghislaine MOUDIKI, I am 38 years old and I am Chief of the Squadron-Magistrate (Commander) in the Cameroonian Gendarmerie. I was deployed to MONUSCO on August 25, 2019 as a Liaison Officer, to liaise with the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) in Bunia, ITURI for a 12 month-period.
One of the contributions made by my country, Cameroon, to the stabilization of peace in the DRC consists in contributing personnel from the police, military or gendarmerie forces to serve within MONUSCO for 1-year renewable. The United Nations has always been for me the symbol of self-sacrifice for others, of readiness to work far from beloved ones, in sometimes hostile environments, moved by the desire to bring one’s contribution to peace-building efforts or for the restoration of peace; this was my dream, and a voluntary choice that has finally materialized.
Serving under the UN banner has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and immerse myself in a multinational, multicultural, multidimensional universe and to interact with both political leaders and senior officers of the Armed Forces of the DRC as well as MONUSCO leadership, sometimes amidst intense stress due to military operations. A few examples by way of illustration: I have participated in several meetings on the security situation in Ituri, I have carried out aerial reconnaissance missions in the combat zones, I have given courses on the role of the Liaison officer to the newly comers joining the contingents ...
I am lucky that my desire to be useful to the society and to be able to help save lives match with the duties entrusted to me as a Liaison Officer.
On a daily basis, I receive requests to evacuate the soldiers wounded in the battlefield to safe areas with better equipped hospitals for better medical care.
The relief in their eyes when they land at Bunia airport and are taken to the hospital, is enough for me, to proudly put on my uniform, my blue beret and my UN badge the next day, notwithstanding the fatigue and stress due to the harsh working conditions and particularly to the COVID-19.
As a female staff in the Peacekeeping Mission, the challenges at the professional level can be minimised, perhaps due to the fact that I have been a military woman for 16 years and I have always worked in an 80% male dominated environment. However, the difficulties lie mainly in the distance from the family which, of course, has an impact on our performance, on top of which, the travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I had to learn self-motivation.
I feel particularly honored to have taken part in the signing of the Peace Agreement between the Congolese Government and the former rebel group FRPI in Gety on February 24, 2020. On that day I led a delegation made up of 7 Generals, 2 FARDC colonels, and the Congolese Minister for National Defense representing the highest authority.
Women peacekeepers remain unquestionably a source of inspiration for the local young women. The female population in Ituri is made up mostly of small traders, women farmers including subsistence farmers. These women unfortunately do not have access to quality education that may help land good jobs. Their manifold interactions with the women peacekeepers proved that women can do much more when they are empowered by the society. The same was noted during the awareness sessions organized for young ladies by the contingents on various occasions.
Working in a Peacekeeping Mission, especially for female personnel, is an enriching experience in many ways: I am one of the two military women working at MONUSCO Headquarters in the North Sector in Bunia. I may say with confidence that the gender equality component is respected here.
To conclude, I would like to say: congratulations to all the women peacekeepers here for the Great Job. Having a career in the military for a woman is already a challenge, even greater when it comes to serving as a peacekeeper. This is a very noble and rewarding career, but it requires a lot of sacrifices.
* | May 29 marks the celebration of the International Day of the United Nations Peacekeepers. It is an opportunity to pay tribute to the civilian and military personnel deployed in the United Nations peace missions around the world. This year's theme is: “Women in Peacekeeping: A Key to Peace”. MONUSCO invites you to discover, through a series of portraits, the invaluable contributions of Women Peacekeepers in the service of peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo.