UN chief pays tribute to the fallen peacekeepers for the cause of peace in DRC
UN Secretary-General António Guterres arrived on Sunday, September 1, 2019 in Beni, North Kivu on a three-day visit to the DRC. UNSG paid tribute to all fallen UN troops for the cause of peace in the DRC.
In front of the memorial erected at the Tanzanian contingent's base in Mavivi, prepared for the fallen peacekeepers who served in the MONUSCO Intervention Brigade could easily be read the names of all the "martyrs of peace”: 22 Tanzanians, 12 Malawians and 4 South Africans.
Accompanied by North-Kivu Governor, Nzanzu Kasivita, who also paid tribute to the peacekeepers, Antonio Guterres spent some minutes in meditation in front of the memorial, laying a wreath of flowers.
Addressing the peacekeepers present at the ceremony, UN Secretary General hailed their courage, urging them to be "proud" of the work they have been doing in DR Congo, highlighting, "MONUSCO has been conducting its work on civilians’ protection in a very complex environment .... It is a difficult task indeed, but necessary".
"MONUSCO has been conducting its work on civilians’ protection in a very complex environment .... It is a difficult task indeed, but necessary".
António Guterres honored the "27 soldiers who lost their lives while serving the United Nations in the DRC".
UNSG also recalled the attacks on Semuliki, late 2017, near the town of Mbau, and during the codenamed Operation Usalama, late 2018. Peacekeepers were not only killed, but some of them were reported missing up to date.
"United Nations will never forget such tragedies," said Guterres. The UN chief believes MONUSCO has already proven the saying: ‘’it is in the dark moments that light springs.’’
Indeed, it was during the Operation Usalama that private Chancy Chitete showed bravery by laying down his own life to save his colleagues.
That's why, says Guterres, in May 2019, private Chitete was posthumously awarded the Capitaine Diagne medal for his exceptional courage.
Solidarity with the victims of insecurity
UN Secretary-General arrived in Beni accompanied by his Special Representative in the DRC, Ms. Leila Zerrougui and her deputies, François Grignon and David McLachlan-Karr, as well as the Governor of North Kivu, Nzanzu Kasivita.
Upon getting off the plane, she was met by the chief of MONUSCO Beni's bureau, Omar Aboud; the Intervention Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Patrick Dube, and the mayor of the city of Beni, Nyoni Bwanakawa as well as MONUSCO civilian and military officials and heads of UN agencies.
Addressing the press, António Guterres expressed his solidarity with the people of Beni for their courage and resilience, and more particularly with the relatives of the victims of insecurity.
"I offer my sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of the violence. I condemn these crimes and call on all armed groups to immediately stop attacks on civilian population and the security forces responsible for the protection of the Congolese people, "he said.
Guterres says UN will do everything in their power to "help put an end to the scourge of insecurity in Beni territory."
On the same day, UN Secretary-General visited Mangina, the "Ground Zero" for the Ebola virus, where the epidemic broke out a year ago.