KIGALI - The United Nations -AU Hybrid Force, UNAMID, has condemned the two ambushes in which five Rwandan peacekeepers died in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region early this month and paid tribute to the fallen RDF soldiers.
The peacekeepers died in two separate incidents after coming under fire in North Darfur while carrying out humanitarian activities.
In a statement, a copy of which The New Times obtained, the acting UNAMID Joint Special Representative, Henry K. Anyidoho, described the deaths as a tremendous loss to the UNAMID military and to the RDF as well as to the families of the bereaved.
“The death of these courageous men has once again highlighted the immense risks involved in peacekeeping operations and I have no doubt that when peace returns to Darfur, the ultimate sacrifice they have made in the quest for peace in this part of Africa would not have been in vain.
May their souls rest in perfect peace.’ the statement reads in part.
The first attack claimed three peacekeepers; Sgt Jean Damascene Hakizimana, Pte Yves Mutijimana and Pte Francoise Sindayigaya in an ambush on a UNAMID humanitarian escort at Saraf Umura while Sgt Ndagijimana Zikuze and Pte John Nsengiyumva died a day after in Shagil Tobaya.
The UNAMID official added that he considered the fallen soldiers as brothers because of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis which he said he witnessed and that this made him be part of the Rwandan society.
“These departed colleagues are a loss to me not because I worked with them but because they were my brothers,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Defence Spokesperson, Maj. Jill Rutaremara, yesterday said that the bodies of the fallen soldiers would arrive in the country on Sunday. He added that the RDF had already delivered condolences to the respective bereaved families of the dead soldiers.
He attributed the delay in bringing the bodies back home to procedures that were taken by UNAMID which include; clearance on transport basics, conducting postmortems and a joint investigation that was carried out to ascertain the circumstances under which the soldiers died.