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Children send 2000 cards to soldiers

Kenyan children have sent 2,000 homemade Christmas cards and New Year messages to the country's 1,100 soldiers engaged in various United Nations peacekeeping missions across the globe.

world Updated: Dec 18, 2007 12:14 IST

Kenyan children have sent 2,000 homemade Christmas cards and New Year messages to the country's 1,100 soldiers engaged in various United Nations peacekeeping missions across the globe.

Describing the soldiers as their heroes, who refused the look with indifference at the suffering of others, school children have thanked them for their sacrifices on behalf of peace.

Unlike this year when school children from the capital Nairobi participated in the initiative, plans are afoot for students across the country joining in to send messages to show their appreciation to Kenyan peacekeepers next year.

Describing the cards and messages as a "great morale booster" for the soldiers, General Jeremiah Mutinda Kianga, Chief of the Kenyan General Staff, said "this is the first time that anyone in Kenya had thanked soldiers for their sacrifices on behalf of peace."

In a message, the acting head of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) Azouz Ennifar paid tribute to Kenyan peacekeepers.

The 128 Kenyans serving with UNMEE "will be thrilled to be remembered by the children of their nation," he said. "It is especially difficult for them to be away from their families and loved ones at this time of year."

As of 30 November, there are 1,086 Kenyan peacekeepers serving in eight missions, with largest number - about 853 serving with the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).