South African peacekeeper killed by unknown gunmen at a water point nr UNAMID Kutum base, N. Darfur, Sudan 29 Oct 2008 laid to rest
Saturday, 15 November 2008 SABC News report:
Hundreds of people, including the top brass of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), are attending the funeral service of Corporal Ben Benjamin Titus, currently underway at Danville near Mafikeng in North West.- - -
Titus died two weeks ago following a shooting incident at the Waterpoint base in Sudan. He was 34 years old.
Titus was based at 10 South African Infantry Battalion in Mafikeng and was deployed to Sudan as a member of the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur. He is survived by his wife, Belinda.
UNAMID bids farewell to peacekeeper killed in action
November 4, 2008 UNAMID report from El Fasher, Darfur, Sudan:
The African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur today bid farewell to one of its Peacekeepers killed on 29 October 2008 whilst conducting his duties in North Darfur. Corporal Ben Benjamin Titus was killed by unknown gunmen at a water point near Kutum base, North Darfur.- - -
The Deputy Joint Special Representative (DJSR), Mr. Henry Anyidoho, on behalf of the Joint Special Representative, expressed his heartfelt condolences to the family of the late peacekeeper, to the South African Contingent and Government of the Republic of South Africa.
The DJSR said that the continued support of South Africa in peacekeeping will be enshrined in the African Union and the United Nations in their resolution of the Darfur conflict. “The death of Corporal Titus is not only a loss to his family, but to UNAMID as well,” he added, emphasizing that “such attacks on our mission will not impede our determination on bringing about lasting peace.”
Also speaking at the farewell ceremony in El Fasher on behalf of the Force Commander, General Martin Luther Agwai, the Force Chief of Staff, Brigadier General George Kyaka, reiterated that “solution in Darfur cannot be achieved through violence”. He paid respect to the late Peacekeeper and expressed sympathy to his family, the South African Contingent and the Government of the Republic of South Africa.
Attending the farewell was Col. Joseph Tshugulu, the South African Contingent Commander who addressed the participants and gave a brief background on the life of the deceased.
Statement by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) regarding the funeral arrangements of a soldier who died in Sudan
November 14, 2008 - South African Government Information:
The funeral service of Corporal Ben, Benjamin Titus (34) will be held at the Dutch Reformed Church (NG Kerk) in Rus Street, Danville, Mafikeng (North West) on Saturday, 15 November 2008 at 08:00.- - -
The remains of Corporal Ben Benjamin Titus will be laid to rest at the Danville Cemetery in full military honours. Corporal Titus is survived by his wife, Mrs Belinda Titus.
The late Corporal Titus passed away on Wednesday 29 October 2008 following a shooting incident at the water point base in Sudan. He was based at 10 South African Infantry Battalion, Mafikeng and was deployed in Sudan as a member of the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur.
Colonel Petrus Motlhabane
Tel: 012 355 6388
Cell: 072 288 3402
Issued by: Department of Defence
14 November 2008
THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE ANNOUNCES THE DEATH OF A SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE SOLDIER IN SUDAN
STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
Date of Release: 30 October 2008 :
The Minister of Defence, Mr Charles Nqakula, regrets to announce the death of a South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldier, following a shooting incident in Sudan on Wednesday 29 October 2008.- - -
This tragic incident occurred at a water point about three kilometres from Kutum base in Sudan. Corporal Ben, Benjamin Titus (34), was on duty at the water point with other members of his unit. At approximately 18:00 (local time), two unknown men approached and opened fire on the soldiers. Corporal Titus was hit and died instantly, while another soldier was also shot and injured. The injured soldier has been transferred to the United Nations Hospital at Al Fasher and is in a serious but stable condition.
The situation around the base is being closely monitored.
Corporal Titus was based at 10 South African Infantry Battalion, Mafikeng, and was deployed in Sudan as a member of the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur. He is survived by his wife, Mrs Belinda Titus.
The Chief of the South African National Defence Force, General Godfrey Ngwenya, has ordered that a Board of Inquiry be convened to investigate the circumstances surrounding this incident.
The Minister of Defence, Mr Charles Nqakula, on behalf of the Department of Defence and the Chief of the South Africa National Defence Force, General Godfrey Ngwenya, have extended their deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of the deceased.
Enquiries: Brigadier General Kwena Mangope
(012) 355 6302 or 072 538 6888
South Africa: SANDF to Investigate Death of Soldier in Sudan
October 30, 2008 Pretoria BuaNews (Tshwane) report:
A Board of Inquiry will be set up by the South African National Defence Force to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a South African soldier who died in Sudan on Wednesday.- - -
Corporal Ben, Benjamin Titus, 34, was on duty at the water point, about three kilometres from Kutum base in Sudan, with other members of his unit.
At approximately 6pm (local time), two unknown men approached the soliders and opened fire on them.
Corporal Titus was hit and died instantly, while another soldier was also shot and injured.
The injured soldier has been transferred to the United Nations Hospital at Al Fasher and is in a serious but stable condition.
The situation around the base is being closely monitored.
Corporal Titus was based at 10 South African Infantry Battalion, Mafikeng, and was deployed in Sudan as a member of the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur.
He is survived by his wife, Belinda Titus.
SA peacekeeper killed in Darfur
October 30, 2008 (SA) Reuters:
Khartoum - Unknown gunmen have killed a South African peacekeeper and wounded another in Sudan's western Darfur region, the United Nations/African Union force (UNAMID) said on Thursday.- - -
The killing brings to 11 the number of peacekeepers who have lost their lives since the beginning of this year when the joint mission took over from the African Union force.
Violence against the under-staffed force has surged in the last three months, during which 10 peacekeepers were killed, underlying the difficulty of securing the region.
Noureddine Mezni, UNAMID spokesperson, said the two soldiers were attacked on Wednesday while securing a water point in the town of Kutum in north Darfur.
"They were injured and evacuated to UNAMID camp in Kutum. One of them died and the other, a female soldier, is alive," Mezni said. The families of the two have been informed of the incident, he said.
With little more than 11 000 military and police personnel, the joint force is far short of its promised strength of 26 000 peacekeepers.
Western diplomats, UN officials and human rights groups blame the slow deployment on obstructions by Sudan, UN bureaucracy and a shortage of helicopters and other transportation equipment.
Sudan, however, said it has made significant progress recently to speed up the deployment of the force.
A Sudanese government official said Western powers, particularly the United States, acknowledge this fact but would not say so in public.
"In private they say 'we know this issue (UNAMID) is not just your responsibility'," the official said on condition of anonymity. "But they won't say this in public."
Western members of the UN Security Council have made progress on deploying the force one of their key demands to suspend a possible arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
The ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo accused Bashir in July of masterminding a campaign of genocide in Darfur. Sudan says it does not recognise the court.
International experts estimate that 200 000 people have died and 2.5 million have fled their homes since the Darfur conflict flared in 2003 when mostly African rebels rose against the government, charging it with neglect. Khartoum puts the death toll at 10 000 people.
Mezni said the female soldier was shot in the chest but was in a stable condition. She was being treated at the UNAMID clinic in El-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, he added.
In October, one Nigerian sergeant was shot dead after up to 60 armed bandits ambushed his convoy. In early July, seven members of the force were killed and another 22 were wounded in an ambush by militia fighters in North Darfur.
A week later, another Nigerian officer was killed in a car-jacking incident in west Darfur.
Gunmen attack SA peacekeepers
October 30, 2008 (SA) AP report by Sarah El Deeb:
Khartoum - Gunmen on vehicles assaulted a group of South African peacekeepers guarding a water well in Darfur, killing one and seriously wounding another, a spokesperson for the joint UN-African Union mission said on Thursday.- - -
The attack took place on Wednesday night, said Noureddine Mezni from the peacekeeping force known as UNAMID.
A total of nine South African peacekeepers were guarding the well, used by the force and the population of Kutum in northern Darfur, he said.
"A convoy of vehicles with armed (men) attacked the force," Mezni said, adding that the peacekeepers fired back. The armed men then fled, leaving two peacekeepers seriously wounded.
One died after reaching the nearest camp, about one kilometre from the well. The other, a seriously wounded female soldier, was evacuated to el-Fasher, North Darfur's provincial capital.
Mezni said the peacekeepers remain "shocked" at the attack.
"We were securing a water well used by the population. We are not part of the conflict," he added.
The joint UN-AU mission took over peacekeeping duty this year from a beleaguered African Union mission. But the new force has struggled with growing insecurity in the conflict-wracked Darfur as it operates with less than 50% of its authorised capacity.
The force is also facing shortages of equipment, mostly transport and combat helicopters which hinders its access to wide swaths of the remote western region of Sudan and leaves the peacekeepers vulnerable to repeated attacks.
Mezni said the peacekeepers were investigating who was behind the attack and remain "undeterred" to carry out their mandate.
However, the UNAMID has rarely blamed any of the warring factions in the conflict zone, and only in one incident were attackers arrested.
The mission has lost at least 10 other peacekeepers since deploying in Darfur.
In July, at least 200 gunmen ambushed a UNAMID convoy in northern Darfur, killing seven peacekeepers in one of the most brazen attacks against the force. The attackers are not yet identified. Three other peacekeepers were killed in separate attacks around Darfur this year.
UNAMID funeral ceremony El Fasher July 12, 2008 for seven slain peacekeepers
Photo: Officers from Gambia serving with the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) lay the U.N. flag on a coffin before the funeral ceremony for seven slain peacekeepers in El Fasher July 12, 2008. The peacekeepers were killed in an ambush by Darfur militiamen while on a routine patrol in North Darfur on Tuesday, in the worst direct attack on UNAMID forces since they began work on December 31. Photo from Reuters Pictures
Photo: Soldiers from Gambia serving with the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) stand near the coffins of seven slain peacekeepers before the funeral ceremony in El Fasher July 12, 2008. Photo from Reuters Pictures
Photo: Soldiers serving with the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) carry the coffin of one of seven peacekeepers, who were killed by Darfur militiamen while returning from a patrol in North Darfur, during a funeral ceremony in El Fasher July 12, 2008. It was the worst direct attack on UNAMID forces since they began work on Dec. 31. Reuters/Albany Associates/Stuart Price/Handout (Sudan).
Peacekeepers killed in Darfur returned home to Rwanda
July 17, 2008 (VOA) report by Thomas Rippe, Kigali - Peacekeepers Killed in Darfur Returned Home to Rwanda:
The bodies of five Rwandan soldiers, who were serving with the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan's Darfur region, have been returned to Rwanda. They were among seven peacekeepers killed last week in the most severe attack on the peacekeeping force since it began operating in Darfur in January. Rwanda remains committed to the mission in Sudan, but urges other nations to honor their commitments as well. Thomas Rippe reports for VOA from Kigali.
Families of the five slain soldiers huddled on the windy tarmac of Kigali International Airport late Wednesday. Many wore bright purple scarves in remembrance of the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which 800,000 people were killed.
Photo: Bodies of Rwandan soldiers, who were serving with the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan's Darfur region, return home, 16 Jul 2008 (T. Rippe/VOA)
Photo: Grieving families of slain soldiers receive coffins at Kigali International Airport, 16 Jul 2008 (T. Rippe/VOA)
God bless + + + Rest In Peace + + +