Meet Major Michael Cooper

"I deployed to South Sudan initially as the deputy chief of operations and then as chief of operations in my final month there.  The overall mandate was to protect civilians.

My daily duties involved briefing the Force Commander concerning all on-going military operations around the country.  These centred around military units deploying to areas, liaising with the local elders, offering medical and veterinary support and advice on infrastructure issues, such as building schools and repairing wells.  Many of these patrols were partnered with UN civilians and non-government organisations (NGOs). 

Aside from this I was the lead for operations involving the movement of logistic support along the river White Nile from Juba to and from Sector North. These patrols routinely delivered vast amounts of fuel and food.  As well as moving supplies via river, we also moved significant amounts of supplies via road.  All of this required a considerable amount of coordination between sectors, NGOs, military HQ’s, civilian agencies and the Government of South Sudan.  The primary function was to ensure all force protection was in place both as part of the convoy and in a stand off position to cover vulnerable areas.

During my time there I met some amazing people and I got to work in an environment which, despite being incredibly testing, was very different from the one the UK military has found itself in during the Afghan/Iraq campaigns." 

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Show your support

Tell the Secretaries of State for Defence and Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs that you are proud of the UK's contribution to UN peace operations. Your messages will also be sent to our featured peacekeepers. 


To sign the letter, please fill out the form below.

Dear Secretaries of State,

I am writing to express my support for the Government’s decision to increase the number of British personnel seconded to UN peace operations.

As a member of the British public, I am proud of our troops, police officers and civilian experts who have served in UN missions across the world. Peacekeepers do vital work to protect civilians from conflict and the need for UN peace operations has never been greater. I believe British citizens have much to give in terms of skills and expertise that can help to strengthen these missions and contribute to their success.

Supporting peace operations is an investment in Britain’s future. It is in our national interest to prevent countries from sliding back into conflict and we have a global responsibility to protect vulnerable populations. Our security and prosperity depend on us working with other states through international institutions like the United Nations.

As British citizens – and global citizens – we all have a stake in supporting international peace and security. I would like to thank our peacekeepers, and the British Government, for investing in the cause of global peace.

Yours sincerely,