MONUSCO Pays Tribute to the Blue Helmets Killed in Helicopter Crash

MONUSCO Pays Tribute to the Blue Helmets Killed in Helicopter Crash

2 Apr 2022

MONUSCO Pays Tribute to the Blue Helmets Killed in Helicopter Crash

MONUSCO paid a last tribute to the eight peacekeepers from Pakistan, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Serbia who lost their lives in helicopter crash on March 29 in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The memorial service took place this Saturday, April 2 in Goma, North Kivu, in the presence of the Deputy Secretary General of the Department of Peace Operations, Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the Mission’s leadership, the Ambassadors of Pakistan, Russia, and Serbia, as well as Representatives of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 On Tuesday March 29, a MONUSCO Force helicopter crashed in the Tshanzu area, 20 km south of Rutshuru, in North Kivu. The helicopter was part of a surveillance and reconnaissance mission, which included two aircrafts. The second helicopter was able to return to Goma. This mission was carried out in an area where clashes have taken place in recent days between the M23 and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC).

 Speaking during the tribute ceremony, Jean-Pierre Lacroix praised the commitment of these peacekeepers to the cause of peace in the DRC.


“Each time we come together in circumstances such as these, we recognize even more the immense sacrifice made by our fallen peacekeepers,” said Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix.

  “We will be inspired by their sacrifice to do more, to redouble our efforts collectively in the service of peace in the DR Congo in partnership with the authorities and the Congolese people,” he said in an interview with Radio Okapi.

  “Our thoughts go out to the families of the peacekeepers. I extend to them personally and on behalf of the United Nations Secretary-General, my deepest condolences. I think of them and, acknowledge their pain and suffering. I also offer my condolences to the countries of origin of the fallen troops: Pakistan, the Russian Federation, and Serbia,” he further said.

The chief of the UN peacekeeping operations also underscored it was important that light be shed on the circumstances of this tragedy and responsibilities be established.

  “These peacekeepers have paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect innocent people and create conditions for a peaceful and sustainable environment. To the bereaved families, we express our solidarity, our empathy, and our compassion”, declared for her part the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in the DRC, Ms. Bintou Keita.

 The head of MONUSCO recalled that many soldiers and civilians, including women and children, have fallen under the fire of the weapons which continue to reverberate through the eastern Congo.

  “We therefore call on all actors to put an end to the insecurity that persists in the east of the country so that children, young and old, can recover their land, return home, and prosper in a nation where peace and stability prevail. This is, in essence, the objective of the United Nations presence in Congo: to contribute to the stabilization of the east of the country while ensuring the protection of civilians”, she highlighted.

"The collective memory of our blue helmets requires our determination to pursue our mandate despite the dangers and threats: it is our duty, and it is our responsibility to remember them", she concluded.

  The remains of the eight missing blue helmets were repatriated to their respective countries on the same day.