MINUSCA pays tribute to Rwandan peacekeeper who fell in Gedze
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) paid its last respects to Sergeant Major Edouard Nsabiyaremye, a peacekeeper from the Rwandan contingent who passed away on 13 June 2020 during an ambush by the armed group Retour-Réclamation-Réhabilitation (3R) on the convoy of the contingent engaged in operation ''A la londo'' in Gedze, in the Nana-Mambéré prefecture.
The Mission bid a final farewell to the fallen peacekeeper in a memorial ceremony held on the tarmac of Bangui M'poko International Airport on 21 July 2020. In attendance were the President of the Central African Republic (CAR) and Head of State, Professor Faustin Archange Touadéra, the Minister of Defence Marie-Noelle Koyara, the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in CAR Denise Brown, the MINUSCA Force Commander General Sidiki Traoré, the Commander of the Bangui Joint Staff Brigadier General Coulibaly Bamaro and other officials from the government and MINUSCA.
Sergeant Major Edouard Nsabiyaremye was part of the MINUSCA 7th Rwandan contingent – a 750-strong troop tasked with the protection of civilians and state institutions, the promotion of human rights, contributing to the return of State authority and preserving the integrity of the Central African territory. Born on 1 January 1974, he served in the Rwandan Defence Forces for 28 years as well as in several UN peacekeeping missions. He is survived by a wife and a child.
The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Denise Brown hailed Sergeant Major Nsabiyaremye: “He fell while fighting for the principles of the United Nations and for the protection of civilians.” She spoke of the untold sadness that comes with the loss of a peacekeeper while paying tribute to him. The Mission strongly condemned the "cowardly attack" in Gedze and Denise Brown did not mince her words in a message to the armed group 3Rs. “You have now brought down a blue helmet, an act that is considered a war crime by international standards. Go back to your bases, put down your weapons and work for peace. Stop working against peace,” she said.
MINUSCA Chief Mankeur Ndiaye offered his condolences to the family of the deceased and to the people of Rwanda while reaffirming the Mission's determination to not only “search for and bring to justice the perpetrators of this despicable act ...”, but also “continue and complete the operation”, as part of the implementation of its Mandate to protect the civilian population and respect the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation (APPR).
The UN Secretary-General António Guterresalso strongly condemned the attack and called on the authorities of the Central African Republic ‘’to spare no effort in identifying the perpetrators of this attack so that they can be brought to justice as soon as possible”. Members of the Security Council similarly reiterated their full support to the Mission and expressed their gratitude to peacekeepers and their contributing countries.
Contingent Commander Lieutenant-Colonel Safari saluted Sergeant Major Edouard Nsabiyaremye’s loyalty, courage and patriotism. Despite this devastating loss, Rwandan peacekeeping troops in the country remain determined to stay the course. “On behalf of the battalion and the Rwandan Defence Forces, we thank you for being with us as we bid farewell to our comrade Edouard Nsabiyaremye. Rwandan peacekeepers will not be intimidated by these criminal acts. We will continue to protect civilians in accordance with our mandate,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Safari.