Two of KwaZulu-Natal's top police officers were awarded medals of excellence by the United Nations over the weekend for their sterling work in Darfur, Sudan.
This is the first time ever that local police officers have received such recognition from the UN.
The two, Tony Mundell, of Port Shepstone, and Robbie Robbertse, of the provincial Supply Chain Management, received medals from the UN's police commissioner in Sudan, Kai Vittrup.
Vittrup said it was an honour to award the medals to the two officers for the good work they have been doing since their deployment in Darfur.
He also praised them as "very professional and dedicated police officers who are loyal to the mission".
Both captains served for a period of six months last year as part of the SA Police Service's peacekeeping force in Darfur.
After returning to South Africa, they again signed up to join the UN mission in Sudan.
They are part of the "Heavy Support Package for the Darfur Planning team".
This means that they are engaged in receiving teams and equipment from foreign countries who want to contribute to the peacekeeping mission in Darfur.
They have to accompany the teams to war zones and evaluate their ability to adapt to the conditions both physically and emotionally.
They are also responsible for the inspection of equipment such as vehicles, helicopters and armoured personnel carriers. Then they have to assess if the equipments are suitable for the region. They are currently based in Khartoum and El Fashir.
The two are ecstatic over the awards.
And when asked how they coped in the troubled region, they both responded that it was "our love for helping people in dire need and the support of our families back home that carry us through".