Another Rwandan peacekeeper dies in Darfur

KIGALI - The ministry of defence Sunday said that yet another RDF peace keeper, Private Jean Claude Mutarushwa, has died in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region. According to Major Jill Rutaremara, the Rwanda Defence Forces Spokesman, the RDF Headquarters last week sent a message of condolences to the bereaved family.

KIGALI - The ministry of defence Sunday said that yet another RDF peace keeper, Private Jean Claude Mutarushwa, has died in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region.

According to Major Jill Rutaremara, the Rwanda Defence Forces Spokesman, the RDF Headquarters last week sent a message of condolences to the bereaved family.

“Private Jean Claude Mutarushwa passed away on August 7, in Khartoum, Sudan,” revealed Maj. Rutaremara.
Pte Mutarushwa was a victim of a brain tumor-induced loss of consciousness.

“Private Mutarushwa went into a coma on 2 August 2008 and was evacuated to Khartoum Hospital where he later died,” Maj. Rutaremara explained.

Mutarushwa, the latest Darfur victim, belonged to the 51st Battalion deployed in Zalinge [Sector West] under the joint United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

Born in 1980, Mutarushwa hails from Rulindo District in the Northern Province. He joined the armed forces in December 2000.

Unlike most other RDF Darfur victims, the fallen combatant and peacekeeper was not married.

Rutaremara explained that arrangements were under way to fly the body home.

President Kagame last month underscored the country’s dedication to peacekeeping in Darfur saying that an exit was not an option given the humanitarian risk at hand.

Rwanda sent a 2,600 strong peacekeeping contingent in UNAMID in 2004.

The death of Pte. Mutarushwa brings the number of fallen RDF soldiers in Darfur to 17 after the recent loss of five, when a convoy they were escorting was ambushed in Shangiya Tobaya, 40km south of El-Fasher in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan.

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