Memorial Service in honor of the 14 Tanzanian Blue Helmets

16 Dec 2017

Memorial Service in honor of the 14 Tanzanian Blue Helmets

The Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations in charge of peacekeeping operations has announced that sanctions will be taken against the murderers of the 14 Tanzanian peacekeepers killed in the Semliki area of North Kivu on 7 December 2017.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, made this statement on Friday 15 December 2017, in Goma during the memorial ceremony in honor of the fallen 14 Tanzanian Peacekeepers. After his visit to Kampala and  Tanzania where he  attend the funeral of the fallen heroes  the Under-Secretary General said that the United Nations will work with all stakeholders to complete the ongoing investigations  of the gruesome murder of the fallen Peacekeepers.  “Their death compels us to continue to fight and fulfil our mandate in the DRC.” We shall continue to work to bring peace in DRC” He thanked the Tanzanian government for the enormous sacrifice and lauded other MONUSCO Peacekeepers and staff in general in their tireless efforts to bring peace to the country.

These declarations of the Under Secretary General Jean Pierre Lacroix were re-echoed in the several speeches made by other UN hierarchy and DRC government representative. They included MONUSCO Force Commander Lt General Derick Ngwebi who said with a heavy heart that ‘these soldiers performed in loyalty and discipline their mission to their ultimate sacrifice. ‘Although the heroes had fallen their memories live on” he added.

DPKO Military Advisor Lt General Carlos Loitey like the MONUSCO Force Commander said that   “the heroes had stayed their course and fought a good fight as peace keepers”.  The Special Representative of UN Secretary to the DRC Maman Sidikou who was dismayed   “said that this tragedy is irreparable for families and their country”. Adding that “their course is noble so we should not despair but   ensure a better future for the Congolese people” 

Tanzanian Ambassador  to the DRC  Paul Ignace   said : ” the death of the 14  comrades is great a great loss  not only to his country Tanzania  but to the UN as a whole , commending MONUSCO for all their efforts  in this very trying moments to bring peace to the country”.  The Tanzanian Ambassador then, reiterated the wish to see the Congolese authorities launch an investigation to track down the murders of the Tanzanian soldier who died during the attack in Semiliki that fateful day.

Congolese National Minister of defense Crispin Atama Tabe like other speakers decried the loss of the fallen heroes promising to carry out investigations on the murder to punish the perpetrators. Like the Ambassador he promised to put an end to the ADF phenomenon before praising the bravery of peacekeepers.

He also decried the irreparable loss of the 14 young fallen heroes who had given up their lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the quest protecting civilians and Peace.

Earlier in their homily the Pastor and the Imam prayed for the souls of the faithful departed calling on God to grant, their Nation, families and loved ones the courage to bear the huge loss.

The speeches were followed by posthumous decorations of the heroes with UN medals, the laying of wreaths and gun salutes.

  Several Diplomats, UN staff and officials, the Congolese government representatives as well as MONUSCO Military leaders, PNC and FARDC attended the memorial ceremony to pay their last respect to the 14 Tanzanian   fallen heroes.

Martha Biongo/Goma