The Ministry of Defence has received compensation for six Rwandan peacekeepers who died while serving under the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) in Darfur, the ministry has revealed.
“The Ministry received six cheques of US$100,000 (approx. Frw55m) for each fallen soldier, totalling to US$600,000 (Frw330m) from the African Union (AU) in respect of the six RDF late comrades who died while serving under the AMIS,” Military Spokesman, Maj. Jill Rutaremara, confirmed on Wednesday.
He said that the cheques were received on March 11, and that the money is meant for the surviving next of kin of the fallen solders.
The compensation is for the families of the dead soldiers namely: Lt William Ntayomba, Sgt. Fidel Kamufozi, Cpl. Leonard Munyaneza, Cpl. Ntirenganya Gafishi, Cpl. Pierre Nabambona and Pte. Cyprien Barakengera.
Rutaremara said that the AU released compensation for the first soldier, Cpl. David Niyonsaba, who died in Darfur October 19, 2005, much earlier.
“In short AU has paid the compensation for seven RDF personnel totalling to $700, 000,” he stressed.
He however said that the Defence Ministry was yet to receive the money for the last two soldiers: Corporals Ildephonse Nyirimigabo and Jean Claude Ndayishimiye, who died on October 24 in a motor accident at Twahilla Group Site of Sector One in El-Fasher, Darfur.
Earlier, Rutaremara said that apart from the deceased soldiers’ families receiving $100,000 in compensation, they would also be catered for by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
“These soldiers were pensioners and therefore the NSSF will also compensate their families,” Rutaremara stressed.
The country currently has at least 3,500 soldiers in the hybrid AU-UN force in Darfur (UNAMID), which took over from AMIS on December 31, 2007.
An estimated 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million others left homeless in the war-torn region since 2003.