KIGALI - Bodies of the five Rwandan peacekeepers killed in North Darfur two weeks ago arrived in Kigali yesterday afternoon.
At the airport, senior military commanders and families of the fallen troops gathered to witness the arrival of the bodies.
RDF soldiers carried the caskets draped in UNAMID flags and escorted the fallen service men to the mortuary at Kanombe Military Hospital.
The deceased, Dominique Nteziyaremye, Yves Mutijima, Francois Sindayigaya, Jean Damascene Hakizimana and Felicien Rugamba were serving under the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
Speaking at Kigali International Airport after the arrival of the bodies, Col. Albert Murasira in charge of Administration and Personnel in RDF said that investigation surrounding their death is still going on.
“Three suspects have been arrested and are being interrogated,” Murasira said.
He however did not specify exactly when the report on the ambushes would be released.
Two of the deceased soldiers were killed in Shangel Tobaya a Sudanese government-controlled area, also in North Darfur while three others were killed in Saraf Omra where they were helping to distribute water to the citizens.
It is said that peacekeepers were attacked by people dressed in traditional attire and had gun underneath their garbs.
Maj. John Bosco Murasanyi who accompanied the bodies said despite the unfortunate death of the five peacekeepers, the general peace situation in Darfur seems normal.
Murasira said that the death of the five peacekeepers has not demoralized the mission adding that Rwanda intends to remain in Darfur and accomplish its mission.
They have also delivered a condolence message to the deceased’s families.
As the UNAMID mandate states, the Mission will give $100,000 (about Frw56 million) to each of the fallen soldier’s next of kin as compensation.
RDF has been deployed in Darfur since 2004 and has over 3,500 troops serving under UNAMID as well as UNMIS.